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Originally founded by German immigrants, followed by successive waves of Lithuanians, Italians, and Hispanics, Melrose Park has undergone a series of transformations since its incorporation in 1882. Close proximity to Chicago and the coming of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad ensured that Melrose Park became a center for manufacturing and heavy industry. Major companies including Benjamin Moore, International Harvester, and the National Malleable Castings Company built plants here, and the town was also known as the headquarters for Polk Brothers. Entertainment and leisure activities have been an important part of life in Melrose Park too. Kiddieland Amusement Park was built in 1929, quickly becoming a popular destination for Chicago area families, and the town was also home to classic movie theaters, the North Avenue Rollerway, and the Come Back Inn, a popular local restaurant. The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a cherished Melrose Park event that has been celebrated annually since 1894.