What is the history of Merrillville, Indiana, and how has it shaped the town today?

What is the history of Merrillville, Indiana, and how has it shaped the town today? - Read more in this informative article by Merrillville Indiana Facts

What is the history of Merrillville, Indiana, and how has it shaped the town today?
The History of Merrillville, Indiana and Its Impact Today

The History of Merrillville, Indiana and Its Impact Today


Merrillville is a town located in Ross Township, Lake County, Indiana. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and has a population of approximately 35,000 people. The town is known for its shopping centers, hotels, and restaurants, as well as its proximity to Lake Michigan.

However, Merrillville also has a rich history that has shaped the towntoday. In this article, we will explore the history of Merrillville and its impact on the town today. We will look at the early settlement of the area, the growth of the town, and some of the key events that have shaped its development. We will also examine some of the cultural and economic factors that have influenced the town over the year

Early Settlement

The area that is now Merrillville was originally inhabited by the Potawatomi people, who were part of the Algonquin Native American tribe. In the early 19th century, European settlers began to move into the area, and by the 1830s, the town of Merrillville had begun to take shape.

The town was named after Dudley Merrill, who was a shareholder in the company that built the railroad through the area. The railroad was a major factor in the growth of Merrillville, as it made it easier for people and goods to move in and out of the town.

Growth and Development

Over the years, Merrillville continued to grow and develop. In the early 20th century, the town became a hub for the dairy industry, with many dairy farms located in the surrounding area. The town also became a popular destination for vacationers, as it was close to Lake Michigan and had many recreational opportunities.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Merrillville experienced a period of rapid growth and development. The town's population increased dramatically, and new businesses and industries moved into the area. In particular, the construction of the Kingery Expressway and the opening of the Southlake Mall in the 1970s helped to fuel the town's growth and development.

Key Events

Throughout its history, Merrillville has been shaped by a number of key events. One of the most significant of these was the construction of the Gary Works steel mill in the early 1900s. The steel mill was located just a few miles from Merrillville, and it had a major impact on the town's economy and development. Many people who worked at the steel mill also lived in Merrillville, and the town became a center for steelworkers and their families.

Another significant event in Merrillville's history was the construction of the I-65 freeway in the 1960s. The freeway made it easier for people to travel to and from the town, and it helped to spur further growth and development in the area.

Cultural and Economic Factors

Merrillville has also been shaped by a number of cultural and economic factors over the years. One of the most important of these has been the town's proximity to Chicago. Many people who live in Merrillville commute to Chicago for work, and the town has become a popular destination for people who want to live close to the city but also enjoy the benefits of suburban living.

Another important factor has been the town's location near Lake Michigan. The lake has provided a source of recreation and tourism for the town, and it has also helped to attract businesses and industries to the area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the population of Merrillville?

The population of Merrillville is approximately 35,000 people.

What are some popular attractions in Merrillville?

Some popular attractions in Merrillville include the Southlake Mall, Deep River Waterpark, and the Albanese Candy Factory.

What is the economy of Merrillville based on?

The economy of Merrillville is based on a mix of industries, including healthcare, retail, and manufacturing. The town is also home to a number of corporate headquarters and business parks.

What is the education system like in Merrillville?

Merrillville is served by the Merrillville Community School Corporation, which includes four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

What is the climate like in Merrillville?

Merrillville has a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The town receives an average of 38 inches of rain and 37 inches of snow per year.

Recommendations for Further Reading

If you would like to learn more about the history of Merrillville and its impact on the town today, we recommend the following resources:


Merrillville, Indiana, has a rich and complex history that has shaped the town in many ways. From its early settlement by European pioneers to its growth and development in the 20th century, the town has been shaped by a variety of cultural, economic, and historical factors. Today, Merrillville is a thriving community with a diverse economy, a strong educational system, and many attractions and amenities that make it a great place to live, work, and visit.

As you can see, Merrillville has a fascinating history that has helped to shape the town into the vibrant and thriving community it is today. If you are interested in learning more about this town and its history, we encourage you to check out some of the resources we have recommended in this article. Whether you are a resident of Merrillville or simply someone who is interested in learning more about this part of Indiana, we are sure that you will find these resources to be informative and engaging.