How Melville Was Born
In the early 1900's The Grand Trunk Railway came through Melville and because of this rail yard, belonging to the Canadian National Railway, made Melville the city it is today. In 1906 the first parcel of land was sold to Mr. Pope, which represented the Grand Trunk Pacific Town site and Development Company. Mr. Pope told people the land he bought would some day be a city. Two years later in 1908 that last spike of the railway was driven and Melville celebrated its birth. The community was named after the president of the railway, Charles Melville Hayes. It was the second divisional point on the railway, West of Winnipeg.
In 1907, J.W. Redgwick brought a load of lumber from Killaly and built The Pioneer Store. There was thirty blocks surveyed and staked out, including a lumber yard and hardware store. The lots were selling from $60.00 to $400.00. The town grew rapidly in the early years, growing from 66 people to 625 people and then over 1,000 people in 1909 with town status. The years between 1910 and 1914 were important to the community with the construction of the community's first power plant, hospital, the Melville Milling Company, Coal Docks and Luther College.
The Next Step - Hockey
After the initial development and settling of the town, the next priority was recreation and more specifically - hockey. The original Queen Street Arena was built in 1909, although it burned partially in 1949 and totally in 1962. A new arena was built at the location of the now-demolished Melville stadium, but burnt as well only two years after construction. In recent times, a second ice surface, the Merv Moore Sportsplex, was constructed just prior to the 1990 Saskatchewan Winter Games. After serving the community faithfully for many years, the building was condemned and demolished. In replacement, the Horizon Credit Union Centre was built in 2011 as the heart of the community. Despite the fires, rebuilding, and moving, the Melville Millionaires Hockey Club prevailed. In fact, they have been in the history books since 1915, when Goldie Smith brought the coveted Allen Cup to Melville and dubbed the team 'Millionaires'. The hockey club continues today, operating as part of the SJHL and within minor hockey league of the area.
Melville as a City
Melville officially became a city on August 1, 1960 and has grown to offer a variety of services, including the home of the provincial government's Saskatchewan Crop Insurance along with industrial leaders such as Babcock and Wilcox. Melville boasts very successful minor ball and minor hockey programs, a variety of other sports, rekindling arts communities, a new swimming pool, multiple museums, several parks, and welcoming residents.