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!
The public is invited to an evening of Swedish Music at the VASA National Archives located at 109 S Bishop Hill Street at 7pm. Actors and musicians, Hans Wilhelm and Birgitta Lowgren use music to eplore history from the Viking era to the 1970's. The meaning and historical significance of these songs, sung in Swedish and English will be explained. 309-927-3898
John Hallwas, a literary scholar and teacher, will introduce the audiences to the poetry of Carl Sandburg and discuss the great literary development in America known as the Chicago Renaissance highlighting Sandburg’s powerful collection of Chicago Poems. The public is welcome. Dairy Building 2pm.
This is a fund raising event for the Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. 3pm-7pm. Enjoy music, an auction, and a dinner, all in the Bishop Hill Village Park. Read more. 309-932-3355