Skyline began its existence as a project under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal program during the Great Depression (similar to the town of White Hall, Lowndes County, and the Prairie Farms Resettlement Community in Macon County). In the early 1930s, the federal government purchased 13,000 acres on Cumberland Mountain in Jackson County and divided it into 40-acre plots. In 1935, federal workers began to build houses and a school on the land, and the government offered the houses and land for purchase through low-cost loans. The project was originally called Cumberland Mountain Farms, then Skyline Farms, and finally just Skyline. Those who bought into the project planted mainly tomatoes and potatoes, as well as some sugarcane, as cash crops.
Few families were ultimately able to pay off the loans, but food provided by the farms helped a number of families survive the Great Depression and resulted in a permanent community. Some of the houses have survived and are referred to as "colony" houses by local residents.
The current town of Skyline is about a mile north of where the bulk of the colony was located. Skyline incorporated in 1985.
According to the 2010 Census, Skyline had a population of 851. Of that number, 95.3 percent of respondents identified themselves as white, 2.1 percent as Hispanic, 1.4 percent as two or more races, and 2.1 percent as Native American. The town's median household income, according to 2010 Census estimates, was $38,542, and the per capita income was $12,960.
According to 2010 Census estimates, the work force in Skyline was divided among the following industrial categories:
· Manufacturing (20.3 percent)
· Construction (19.2 percent)
· Educational services, and health care and social assistance (18.4 percent)
· Retail trade (15.7 percent)
· Transportation, warehousing, and utilities (8.1 percent)
· Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation and food services (3.8 percent)
· Public administration (3.5 percent)
· Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extractive (3.5 percent)
· Professional, scientific, and administrative and waste management services (2.2 percent)
· Finance and insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing (2.2 percent)
· Wholesale trade (2.4 percent)
· Other services, except public administration (0.8 percent)
Skyline is part of the Jackson County Public Schools. There are no public schools in the town itself.
Skyline is served by State Highway 79, which runs north-south through the town, and County Road 17, which runs west from 79 through the southwestern portion of the town.
Events and Places of Interest
Skyline holds an annual "Skyline Day" on the first Saturday in June at Cumberland Mountain Park.
Jackson County Heritage Book Committee. The Heritage of Jackson County, Alabama. Clanton, Ala.: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998.
James P. Kaetz
Published December 13, 2012
Last updated January 10, 2013