The Hill Building is a highly recognizable building located in downtown Palm Harbor at 1001 Omaha Circle and is locally known as the second oldest building in Palm Harbor.
The building is named after a gentleman named Redden B. Hill who came to live here in 1896. Originally from Georgia, he settled first in Lafayette County, Florida where he served as a circuit judge.
Mr. Hill constructed the building to face the then standing San Marino Hotel. He opened a general store that offered delivery services mostly to rural areas. Once a week, Mr. Hill would hitch up his horses to his wagon and make his rural deliveries of groceries and dry goods. If it rained, it is reported that he used his surrey to make deliveries because back then, the roads were all dirt or shelled.
Mr. Hill had his nephew Mortimer working for him at the store. He took it over when Mr. Hill left the area in 1921, after the fire destroyed one of the main sources of the grocery store’s income, the Southern College campus. Mr. R. B. Hill along with his wife, sold his home and moved back to northern Florida where he died in 1923.
Through the years, the building served as a grocery store, site of voter registration (twice), feed store, fabric store, roofing business, antique store, art gallery, and professional offices. A professional office is located there now called Geographic Solutions.
When Geographic Solutions took over the Hill Building, renovations took 6 months and cost about $100,000. The renovations were looked upon as a very positive event by the former Palm Harbor Historical Society’s President, Winona Jones
There is a plaque on the building that denotes the Hill Building and is a reminder of its humble beginnings in 1896. Mr. Hill might have left a floundering business behind when he moved in 1921, but more than likely even he could not have imagined the scope of businesses that have resided there or the longevity of the structure.
Did you know that a surrey is a type of light wagon that has four wheels, a fringed top and two or four seats facing forward?