Lakewood & Merrill Automotive: A History


About 50 years ago in 1969, the City of Lakewood incorporated. The people of Lakewood worked together to build schools and make other civic improvements. There were several unsuccessful attempts to incorporate it. As fears of annexation to Denver and the lack of law enforcement loomed over residents, Lakewood was finally able to incorporate in 1969. Jim Richey, Chairman of the Citizens for Incorporation, and residents drew up plans on his basement ping pong table. The name Lakewood came long before that in 1889, from William Loveland, Owner of the Colorado Central Railroad, and Charles Welch. Loveland and Welch wanted to retire in this community west of Denver along Colfax Avenue.

This was the place to be for wealthy residents of Denver to locate their summer estates. When they built the first electric tramway, the population in Lakewood boomed. The tramway referred to as the W line or “Loop” was 12.1 miles of rail that ran between Denver, Lakewood, and Golden. Today’s W Line, or West Rail Line, is the first of the FasTracks program light rails to open. In Lakewood’s early days, ranching, raising turkeys and operating dairies were the businesses. As new neighborhoods and businesses formed, Lakewood became one of the largest cities in Colorado.


In 2019 the estimated population in Lakewood was 156,798. All along there has been a great sense of pride in the community as Lakewood has grown. Merrill Automotive is proud to be a part of this community and provide quality auto repair. In 1928, Marcellas S. Merrill started Merrill Axle & Wheel Service that specialized in Automotive steering and suspension. Today, Merrill Automotive is your go-to for all auto repair and maintenance. From basic oil changes and brake replacement to engine repair and maintenance. The Mechanics at Merrill Auto are certified and love working on all makes and models of passenger vehicles.

Besides Light Duty Trucks, plus chassis work on Camper Trailers and RV’s. Merrill Automotive provides expert diagnostics and alignments using the latest tools and technology. Our customers’ satisfaction and safety are very important to us. We want to help you maintain your vehicles and keep them safe.

Merrill Automotive is closely affiliated with a local Jefferson County program called the Good Neighbor Garage/Hands of the Carpenter. This program provides women in need with vehicles and helps them with repairs. Imagine being a single mother that is working and going to school and its grocery store time. The fridge is empty. You look out the window and it’s snowing. Without a vehicle this can be a daunting daily challenge, getting your young kids to the grocery store and back using the bus. Safety and exhaustion quickly overcome. That’s where Hands of the Carpenter and Merrill Automotive help.

Hands of the Carpenter identifies, screens and places vehicles with women trying to improve their life for themselves and their children. What a wonderful benefit to the residents of Jefferson County. While Merrill Automotive and other generous Repair Shops in and around Lakewood are only a small part of this program we are so thankful for the program in our community.

We are so happy to be your neighbor, providing you with quality auto repair and maintenance.