Melrose Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is a suburb of Chicago. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 25,411. Melrose Park had long been home to a large Italian-American population. The suburb was the home of Kiddieland Amusement Park from 1929 until 2010 (it closed in September 2009 before it was demolished in 2010 and the sign of Kiddieland was relocated to the Melrose Park Public Library); the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel; Stern Pinball, Inc., which is now the world’s last manufacturer of coin-operated pinball machines; the Melrose Park Taste home of the famous Melrose Stuffed Peppers; and the now-defunct Maywood Park horse racing track.
There is a Metra railroad station in Melrose Park with daily service to Chicago. Melrose Park is home to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, in 1882 residents of a then-unincorporated portion of Proviso Township voted to establish their own municipality—called simply “Melrose” until 11 years later, in 1893, when the “Park” was added and population in the area began to steadily increase. The first Italian-Americans arrived in 1888. On April 19, 1920, the F4 Palm Sunday tornado cut a 328-foot-wide (100 m) path over 1,094 yards (1,000 m) through the village and killed ten people. It destroyed the Sacred Heart Church and attached convent.
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