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

June 23 - Midsommar Music Festival

Celebrate the summer solstice Swedish style, with music and dancing! Concerts in the village park will begin at 11am and conclude at 4pm when the maypole will be decorated. See full music lineup here. Participate in the procession; help deliver the maypole to the schoolhouse and dance on its east lawn. 
Even more activities are planned around town: 
The 3rd Annual Rubarber Fundraiser Members of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association will be serving homemade rhubarb baked goods, coffee, and lemonade, on the porch of the Steeple Building Museum from 11am to 4pm. Proceeds will be used to support BHHA activities. 
Nordland Band's free Music Workshop in the Dairy Building at 12:30pm. Listen to wonderful waltzes and pretty polkas; learn some simple Swedish dances and join in the fun with the percussion instruments provided for you. 
Midsommer Respite from 10am to 4pm The whole family is welcome to take a break from the action and view the new exhibits at the Vasa National Archives. Come for refreshments and make a memento at a make-and-take clay station set up for kids of all ages!
Bishop Hill Creative Commons Grand Opening Stop in on Midsommer Saturday at this new artist cooperative at 309 Bishop Hill Road in the former Village Smithy. Read all about the Commons here.
Barn Dance at the Colony School with The Ragged Robin Band at 7 pm. Dances called and taught by veteran caller Ms. Gail Hintze. No experience needed. Admission is $5.

July 14 - 28th Annual Country Antique Market

This popular country antique market features 60 exceptional antique dealers from  Illinois, Indiana,  Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas Wisconsin. Find quality antiques including primitives, country, folk art, pottery, and much more are available on the lawn of the Colony School. Proceeds from this event will benefit a Bishop Hill organization. 9am-3pm. $7.00 admission. Promoted by Sweet Annie Primitives and the Bishop Hill Bakery & Eatery. 309-927-3072

July 22 - Antique Car Show

A great antique and classic car show.  Registration is from 9am-11:30am, judging is from noon-1:30pm with awards presented at 3pm. Enjoy a grilled pork chop meal in the Park served by Bishop Hill’s Volunteer Firemen. Show proceeds go to the restoration and preservation of the 1861 Bishop Hill Colony School. The entry fee is $10.00. 309-927-3345 or 309-525-5665 Download an application HERE.