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

August 25 - Bishop Hill Chautauqua

The public is invited to this free family-oriented event. Take part in this small town tradition in the Bishop Hill Village Park where the theme of this year’s Chautauqua (pronounced shuh-TAW-kwuh) is World War I. Reenactors, portraying famous historical figures of the period, will educate and entertain with their inspiring stories and songs of what shaped us as a nation from the people who lived it! 1pm-4pm. Sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association  and Twinflower Inn 309-927-3899. Peruse the poster here.

September 08 - Old Settler's Day

Celebrate the 172nd anniversary of the Colony and the 122nd year of the Old Settlers Association.  A traditional chicken dinner will be served at 11:30am at the Colony School. The public is invited to attend a concert of The Bishop Hill High Society Band at 12:15pm and a program featuring historical memoirs by colony descendants at 1:30pm in the Village Park. Program rain location: Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church. 

September 09 - Colony School Reunion

Former students and teachers from the Colony School and area country schools meet annually to celebrate. 2-4pm.