Known as “Downtown Northwest Indiana,” the town of Merrillville, just south of Gary, encompasses a wealth of restaurants, banks, malls and businesses typical of late 20th century American suburbs. In the mid-1830s, Potawatomi and Miami regularly visited the Merrillville area. Merrillville Location and Statistics Merrillville covers about 31 square miles that were once densely covered with forest. Its gently undulating topography lends itself easily to cultivation and the soil is fertile.
The area is drained by Turkey Creek and Deep River and there is no shortage of rainfall. In a nutshell, the boundaries are from 53rd Avenue to the north, to 101st Avenue to the south, and Whitcomb Street to the west and County Line to the east. The whole area was once the province of the Potawatomi Indians, a nation of peace-loving hunters and fishermen. In 1834, a clearing in the forest was used for ceremonial purposes and was renamed McGwinn Village.
A year later, a white man named Jeremiah Wiggins pounced on the village and enchanted the Indians with his gift of talk and fascinating trinkets, McGwinn Village gave way to Wiggins Point and under that name became a well-known stop for wagon trains bound for Joliet. At one point, 16 paths (trails would be better suited) radiated outward from Wiggins Point. Sometime after Wiggins' death in 1838, the settlers who had followed him here decided that Centerville would be a more appropriate name. Later, when the Merrill brothers (Dudley and William Merrill) left their mark on community life, Centerville became Merrillville.
Other settlements had multiplied in the former hunting grounds of the Potawatomi and were given names such as Deep River and Turkey Creek (from the waterways they bordered), Ainsworth, Lottaville and Rexville. At one time Lottaville was a U.S. UU. In 1848, all of these settlements, including Merrillville, were reunited under the name Ross Township.
The city of Merrillville is located in northern Indiana, about 15 miles from Lake Erie and 40 miles from downtown Chicago. Visitors to the area can take advantage of numerous outdoor attractions, from local golf courses to area parks and the shores of Lake Erie. During inclement weather and at night, downtown Merrillville also offers a wealth of cultural offerings. Merrillville is known as the “downtown area of Northwest Indiana” because of its regional stores and many restaurants.
This planetarium is part of the K-12 Merrillville Community School Corporation public school system in Northwest Indiana. Indiana ports operate three ports in the state of Indiana at Burns Harbor, Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon. With other Lake County destinations just a short drive from Merrillville, a visit to this city can already offer all the best Indiana has to offer. There are plenty of joyful experiences to look forward to on a trip to Merrillville, as several merchants have gathered in its great Northwest Indiana location.