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!
Participants will make a bird shaped clay whistle called a pipsel, a common Swedish child's toy. Conducted by Bishop Hill potter Lou Hanson in the Dairy Building from 10am to noon. Materials and firing are included in the $20 cost per person. Finished pipspels may be picked up two weeks after the workshop. For reservations call 309 927-3899.
Enjoy this free 2-day festival in the Village park. Starting at noon, the event will feature many of the best known folk and ethnic music artists in the Midwest. Bring a lawn chair and sample a variety of musical genres including old time square dance music, dulcimer tunes, Swedish folk songs, Blues, Bluegrass, and Mexican music. Informal workshops will be conducted by performers in the Steeple Building on both days. Find the full schedule of the weekend's performances and workshops here. 309 927-3899
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. 309-927-3899