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!
Experience an ancient Swedish tradition at our annual bonfire to burn away the remnants of winter and welcome back spring.Local entertainers will share stories and songs with guests at the Vasa National Archives. 309-927-3898.Wieners for roasting, coffee, iced tea, and hot chocolate will be provided. Open to all; visitors are encouraged to bring a dish to share. 6pm-9pm.
All you'll need to plant a container garden for wee faerie folk will be provided. The fee of $35.00 per garden includes all materials. Meet hosts Brian Ellis and Katrina Morrison at Garden Thyme at 10am. Class size is limited; reserve your space today. 309-696-0833
A bedazzling display of color, themed Lattice, Leaves & Landscapes, will fill the Colony School. May 13 and 14, 10am-5pm and May 15, 10am-4pm. Quilts may be antique, miniature, patchwork, applique, or something else. $5.00 admission. See special quilt exhibits throughout town. 309-927-3851