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!
Sample delicious pies from Bishop Hill’s best bakers! Held in the Village Park from 1pm-4pm, this is an annual fundraiser for the Bishop Hill Heritage Association. 309-927-3899August 15 - Prairie Market
Find new, vintage, and collectable treasures at the Prairie Market held at VASA National Archives Museum. 309-927-3898August 15 To August 16 - Clay and Fiber Fest
Enjoy a pottery and fibers weekend. Demonstrations include pottery making and firing, spinning and weaving techniques, and broom making. Hands-on activities include spinning and weaving. Enjoy a soup supper on Saturday featuring homemade soups served in handmade bowls. Call 309-927-3008