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.
Renew your spirit in this peaceful place.
Discover why Bishop Hill remains a utopia on the prairie today!
Services are held in the Colony Church and conducted in Swedish and English. Coffee and rusk served following the service. 6am. Call 309-927-3345.
Bishop Hill springs to life as shops and museums open for the season from 10am-5pm. Guests are greeted with coffee, cookies, and special spring classes. 309-927-3899
The 21st 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 Skamperoo 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. 309-927-3044