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.


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






Join us at these Upcoming
Bishop Hill Events

November 01 - Sweet Annie Christmas

Enjoy refreshments while you sample the primitive delights and Christmas handmades at this holiday open house at Sweet Annie Primitives from 10am-4pm. 309-927-3072

November 01 - Clay Whistle Making Workshop

Potter Lou Hanson will be conducting a pipspel making workshop from 1pm-3pm at the Dairy Building located at 410 North Erickson Street, on the north end of Bishop Hill.  Participants will learn to make a red clay whistle… that works, called a pipspel. A pipspel is a clay whistle shaped like a bird, commonly used as a child’s toy in Sweden. Space is limited. To reserve your spot call 309 927-3899. All clay, tools, materials, and kiln firing are included in the $20.00 fee. You may pick up your pipspel two weeks after the workshop.

November 02 - Birthday Celebration for Artist Olof Krans

Join us in celebrating the176th anniversary of artist Olof Krans’s birth at the Bishop Hill Museum. The recently published book, The Art of Olof Krans: A Prairie Vision, will be available for the first time for purchase. Hammer and Pick will perform American and Swedish folk tunes at 2:30pm. Enjoy birthday cake, punch and coffee from 2pm-4pm. Sponsored by Bishop Hill State Historic Site. 309-927-3345 read more