Welcome to Bishop Hill, Illinois

In 1846, a group of Swedish immigrants seeking religious freedom left their native land under the guidance of their charismatic spiritual leader, Erik Jansson. The site for their new utopia, later called Bishop Hill, was described to them as a “land of plenty, brimming with milk and honey,” and they struggled to make it so. These Janssonists built a successful communal society based on economic and religious principles. Many of the structures erected during this building campaign still exist. The colony grew and flourished for fifteen years before disbanding in 1861.

Today Bishop Hill is a quiet country village where the charm and character of the original colony have survived the test of time. Bishop Hill is a National Landmark Village, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and it is an Illinois State Historic Site. Join us! We invite you to taste the history of this once-bustling 19th century settlement. Sample our fascinating museums, quaint eateries, unique gift shops, and art galleries. Peek into the past at our seasonal festivals and holiday celebrations. Spend hours or days here with family and friends.

 Search Illinois Periodicals Online for more of Bishop Hill’s remarkable history.

Renew your spirit in this peaceful place.
er why Bishop Hill remains a utopia on the prairie today!






Join us at these Upcoming
Bishop Hill Events

April 28 - Swedish Stomp and Skamparoo

The 23rd annual Bishop Hill Swedish Stomp and Skamperoo is a timed 5 kilometer race open to all runners age 7 to 107! Run or walk the course through the streets and bucolic countryside of our historic village. The race begins at the Bishop Hill Colony School. Children age 6 and under are invited to participate in the 1/3K Skamparoo at 10am. Registration begins at 7am; race time is 9am. Sponsored by the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association, the proceeds will be used for the preservation and maintenance of the Old Colony School. Register Online or download an application here. 309-927-3064

May 05 - Concert featuring Illinois Folksongs of 1818 - 1960

Join Bucky Halker as he presents a wide range of folksongs that recount Illinois's historic events, people, and places. This free concert in the Dairy Building at 1:30pm is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and the Illinois Humanities Council.

May 18 To May 20 - Quilt Show: Teapots, Toys, and Tumbling Blocks

A bedazzling display of color will fill the Colony School. May 18 and 19, 10am-5pm and May 20, 10am-4pm. Quilts may be antique, miniature, patchwork, applique, or something else. The theme for this show is Teapots, Toys, and Tumbling Blocks. $5.00 admission. See quilt exhibits throughout town including special programs and displays at Dairy and Steeple Buildings. Sponsored by the Prairie Queen Quilt Club, Bishop Hill Arts Council, and the Bishop Hill Heritage Association.