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Melvindale, Michigan

Melvindale was originally put together in the 1920s and was made from a small residential and farm area called Oakwood Heights.


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By Bethany Newton, Staff Writer Discover Downriver

Melvindale was originally put together in the 1920s and was made from a small residential and farm area called Oakwood Heights. Its initial purpose was supposed to be to house workers from the nearby River Rouge plant. The name “Melvindale” comes from one of the developers of the early community named Melvin Wilkinson.

Melvindale first became a village in 1924, but did not become a city till almost a decade later in 1933. Because of it’s location between big cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Toledo, Melvindale became the crossroads of big industry. The city grew the most during the World War II period, and because of that growth, many parts of the city were industrialized. Today, there are not my plots in the city where the land is undeveloped.

The city of Melvindale has a slogan, which is “The Little City With a Big Heart.” Although the city maybe small, it has many community events and organizations. Melvindale has its own public library and school system.

The city of Melvindale also embraces the Film Friendly Initiative issued by the State of Michigan, which means that films are allowed and have been filmed in Melvindale. Other fun activities that take place in Melvindale include: Melvindale Days Festival, Harvestfest and Winterfest. All of these events have history within the community, and Melvindale Days Festival has been taking place for over 25 years.

The community is a great place for business and leisure, yet it still keeps that small town atmosphere.

Fun Facts:

  • Mickey Goodwin, a light-heavyweight boxer, called Melvindale home.
  • Parts of the movie “Machine Gun Preacher” with Gerard Butler and Michelle Monaghan were filmed in Melvindale during the summer of 2010.
  • At the Melvindale Days Festival, there is a Little Miss Melvindale Pageant.
  • Mike Jolly, a former football player from the University of Michigan and the Green Bay Packers was from Melvindale.
  • As of the census of 2010, there were 10,715 people, 4,420 households, and 2,601 families residing in the city.

Information gathered from the City of Melvindale and the U.S. Census.

Written by Bethany Newton, staff writer for Discover Downriver.  See more about Bethany here.

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