Legend has it that long ago – when Sils-Maria was still called Seglias-Majoria (“dairy on the pastures”) and travellers journeying over the Maloja Pass changed their horses here, fortified themselves or bought barrels of salted lake trout from the local fishermen – melting snow caused the lake and the River Inn to burst their banks, flooding the meadows and the young forest and cutting off the dairy from the rest of the world.
When the little goblin-like creatures known as "Wildleutchen" who lived there discovered that the storage cellars of the people of Seglias were also under water and that the inhabitants were starving, they decided to come to their rescue. As the Wildleutchen could neither fly nor swim, they came up with a very unusual mode of transport to carry food to the residents. They packed the food into balls of larch needles, placed them onto the water, and the reliable Maloja wind carried them across the lake to the hungry people.
These "Silserkugeln" (Sils balls) can still be seen in the autumn, when the larch trees lose their needles. It is, however, officially documented that the region around Sils was already settled during the Bronze Age (around 1,000 BC). Sils was first mentioned in the 14th century. At the latest since 1536, it has existed as an autonomous municipality in its present-day geographical dimensions.
The foundations for the village's current significance as a tourist resort were laid as far back as the second half of the 19th century with the building of the Hotel Alpenrose and Hotel Edelweiss.