Melville, pop 4,453, is located 150 km northeast of Regina. It began its life in 1906 when the Grand Trunk Railway purchased a parcel of land for development. In 1907 J.W. Redgwick built the Pioneer Store, and soon a lumberyard and hardware store were also established in the area. Thirty blocks were surveyed and sold to settlers for between $60 and $400. In 1908 the railway was completed and the community was named Melville after the president of the railway, Charles Melville Hays, who died aboard the Titanic. The community’s growth can largely be attributed to its designation as the second divisional point on the railway west of Winnipeg: in just two years the population grew from 66 in 1907 to over 1,000 in 1909, when Melville reached town status. The years between 1910 and 1914 were important to the community, and saw the construction of the first power plant, the hospital, the Melville Milling Company, the Coal Docks, and Luther College. The Melville Millionaires hockey team, also established at that time, won the Allan Cup (national championship) just three years into its existence.
Melville officially became a city on August 1, 1960. Since that time it has grown to become a service centre for poultry, livestock and grain farmers in the area; there is also a small manufacturing sector. Melville is home to the provincial government’s Saskatchewan Crop Insurance head office, and to industrial leaders such as Babcock and Wilcox, and Century Glass. The community now has many organizations, service clubs, and sport, cultural and recreational activities. Melville has hosted a number of events such as the 1990 Saskatchewan Winter Games, the Southern Men’s curling playdowns in 1996, and the Tankard Men’s provincial curling championships in 1998. There is also a successful minor ball and hockey system, as well as figure skating, speed skating, batting cages, a swimming pool, two museums, and several parks. Melville has a weekly newspaper, The Melville Advance, and the Parkland Regional Library. St. Peter’s Hospital, controlled by the Catholic Health Council, and St. Paul Lutheran Home provide health care to residents. There are three elementary schools, one junior high school, one high school, and one post-secondary college.