Merrillville, Indiana

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Merrillville (pronounced /ˈmɛrəlvɪl/) is a town in Ross Township, Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was 30,560 at the 2000 census. Merrillville is located in the east-central portion of Lake County.

Contents

Geography

Merrillville is located at 41°29′08″N 87°20′07″W / 41.485669°N 87.335390°W / 41.485669; -87.335390.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.3 square miles (86.3 km²), of which, 33.3 square miles (86.2 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.09%) is water.

The town is centered around the intersection of US 30 and Interstate 65. The Lincoln Highway runs through Merrillville. The original alignment of Lincoln Highway is known as 73rd Avenue (also called Old Lincoln Highway) in Merrillville, while the current Lincoln Highway (US Highway 30) is known as 81st Avenue. State Road 53 (Broadway) and State Road 55 (Taft Street) traverse the town from north to south.

History

Merrillville is located on what used to be woodland that belonged to the Potawatomi Indians. In 1834, a clearing was created for ceremonial purposes and was called McGwinn Village. A year later, a white man by the name of Jeremiah Wiggins settled in the place; McGwinn Village thus gave way to Wiggins Point.[4]

Under the name Wiggins Point, the place became a well-known stop for wagon trains heading to Joliet, Illinois along the old Sac Trail (also called the Sauk Trail), which was an old Indian trail. At one time, 16 trails radiated outward from Wiggins Point. In 1838, Wiggins died. Sometime afterwards, local settlers renamed the place Centerville. Later still, it was renamed Merrillville after the brothers Dudley and William Merrill.[4] Dudley Merrill operated a hotel and store in Centerville, and his son John P. Merrill was a Township Trustee.[5]

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