Skip directly to content

Silverhill

James P. Kaetz, Auburn University
Slosson Farm, 1895
Silverhill is located in southern Baldwin County in the southwest corner of the state. It has a mayor/city council form of government.
History
A community known as Silverhill was first settled in this area prior to the Civil War, at least by 1861. Some sources state that the area earned its name from the silver coins paid to workers in the local turpentine industry by their boss.
An actual town was established in 1897 by a group of men from the Chicago-based Svea Land Company, which bought 1,500 acres and began advertising to recent Swedish immigrants to relocate to the area (in much the same fashion that Cullman and Good Hope, both in Cullman County, were settled by German immigrants). These early settlers were generally farmers but had difficulty in earning a living because of the lack of a railway line and thus no way to get their harvested crops to market. As a result, many residents returned to the region from which they had originally come. A post office opened in 1899 and closed in 1926.
State Bank Silverhill
The remaining residents built the first school in 1904, and a hotel opened that same year. The Bay Minette and Fort Morgan Railroad came through the area in 1905, and in response, local farmers switched to shippable cash crops such as potatoes and cucumbers because they could reach larger markets. Satsuma oranges also briefly became a major crop in the area, and farmers began branching out into dairy farming. Beginning in 1909, a second group of settlers, this time from Bohemia (now a region of the Czech Republic), began moving to Silverhill to farm. Silverhill incorporated in August 1926.
Demographics
According to 2016 Census estimates, Silverhill recorded a population of 809. Of that number, 86.7 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 12.6 percent as Hispanic, 6.8 percent as two or more races, and 6.6 percent as American Indian. The town's median household income was $48,021, and the per capita income was $23,817.
Employment
According to 2016 Census estimates, the workforce in Silverhill was divided among the following industrial categories:
  • Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (20.1 percent)
  • Retail trade (18.3 percent)
  • Educational services and health care and social assistance (17.4 percent)
  • Construction (12.0 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (7.5 percent)
  • Manufacturing (7.5 percent)
  • Other services, except public administration (4.5 percent)
  • Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (4.2 percent)
  • Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (3.6 percent)
  • Public administration (3.3 percent)
  • Wholesale trade (0.9 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction (0.6 percent)
Education
Schools in Silverhill are part of the Baldwin County school system; the town has one elementary school.
Transportation
Silverhill is bisected by County Road 55 running north-south and State Highway 104 running east-west.
Events and Places of Interest
People's Supply Company is listed on both the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and the National Register of Historic Places. The State Bank of Silverhill and the Svea Land Company Office also are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Svea Land Company building is now the Oscar Johnson Public Library, named for lifelong Silverhill resident and original member of the Svea Land Company. The building also houses a museum.

Additional Resources

Baldwin County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Baldwin County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, Inc., 2001.
Comings, L. J. Newcomb, and Martha M. Albers. A Brief History of Baldwin County. Fairhope, Ala.: Baldwin County Historical Society, 1928.
Published:  February 18, 2013   |   Last updated:  November 2, 2020