Inhabited as of 10/04
Melville was established in 1883 just east of the pinoneer settlement of Newport. That same year, Newport’s post office moveds to Melville. It is unknown who the town is named for since two of the landowner’s associates share the name “Melville” and were both likely candidates for the honor.
A population of 200 was reported in 1890.
On our visit to Melville, we were kindly shown around the townsite by the Biels. They serve as caretakers for the townsite on behalf of the owner, who lives out of state.
Present population is under 5.
We believe Melville’s decline may have been brought on by a lack of a water source. There are remnants of wells all over the site most of which have been filled-in by the caretaker.
The big blue building pictured below was the former Melville town hall.
The picture of the sidewalk leading to a vacant lot is the former site of the Melville school.
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Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC