Little White Church on the Hill, Silvana, circa 1900
Founded by Norwegian farmers in the 1880s, the town of Silvana faced both the blessings and curses of a fertile floodplain. To cope with the frequent overflow of the Stillaguamish River, the houses and sidewalks were raised several feet above ground level. It’s little wonder that the congregants of Silvana Lutheran, led by their pastor Christian Jorgenson, elected to build their church on a hill.
In 1890, spending a mere $750 on materials, the members built their church, donating their labor and clearing land for a small graveyard. Then and now, its view of the rich delta farmlands belongs in a Dutch master’s painting. Today, the congregation gathers in a more suitable building in Silvana proper—now lowered to ground level—although “the little white church on the hill” is coveted throughout the spring and summer as a wedding venue. —JS