In 1827, Captain James Stirling named Melville Water after Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty 18121830. The land adjacent to Melville Water became known as the Melville Water Park Estate (later Applecross) when it was subdivided from 1896.
To the Aboriginal people, the area in Melville that was later developed as the Willagee Park Hotel was a significant site of a well-known fresh water spring.
The complex including Melville Recreation Centre and AH Bracks Library at the corner of Canning Highway and Stock Road provides library facilities, gymnasium and caf services as well as meeting rooms. AH Bracks Library is a vibrant facility with a special emphasis on young readers with three story-time sessions a week, Baby Rhyme Time, and a large and diverse Junior and Young Adult Collection.
The neighbouring Melville Plaza District Shopping Centre hosts the popular rotary markets on Sundays. On the Palmyra side of Stock Road is an amateur theatre group and a 'Meals on Wheels' kitchen.
The suburb also includes Applecross/Melville District Guides, Melville District Scout Hall Association, a women's choir and the Melville-Palmyra Tennis Club. On its western boundary is Craigcare Retirement Village.
Melville Reserve has both winter and summer sport for juniors and seniors including cricket, football and tennis.