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.
According to 2020 Census estimates, Silverhill recorded a population of 585. Of that number, 76.8 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 16.4 percent as Hispanic, 8.2 percent as two or more races, and 7.9 percent as American Indian. The town’s median household income was $51,296, and the per capita income was $41,216.
According to 2020 Census estimates, the workforce in Silverhill was divided among the following industrial categories:
- Educational services and health care and social assistance (28.7 percent)
- Retail trade (18.9 percent)
- Manufacturing (11.1 percent)
- Construction (10.4 percent)
- Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (10.1 percent)
- Other services, except public administration (7.2 percent)
- Transportation and warehousing, and utilities (6.2 percent)
- Public administration (2.9 percent)
- Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (2.6 percent)
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services (1.6 percent)
- Wholesale trade (0.3 percent)
Schools in Silverhill are part of the Baldwin County school system; the town has one elementary school.
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.
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.