Potawatomi Indians were the original Merrillville, Indiana, residents until 1834, when a clearing in the woods was established for ceremonial purposes. It was called McGwinn Village until the following year when Jeremiah Wiggins settled there and renamed it Wiggins Point. Wiggins Point was a well-known stopping off point for wagon trains bound for Joliet, Illinois, along an old Indian trail called Sac Trail or Sauk Trail. Sixteen other trails came off of Sauk Trail to various destinations in the area.