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!
Bishop Hill springs to life as shops and museums open for the season from 10am-5pm. Guests are greeted with coffee, cookies, and special treats. 309-927-3311April 11 - He Gave the World the Steel Plow: The John Deere Story
The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will host Richard Morthland, a scholar with the Illinois Humanities Council, to present a first person portrayal of John Deere in the story He Gave the World the Steel Plow. The public is invited to this free program in the Dairy Building at 2pm. Email or call 309 927-3899 for more details.April 21 - Swedish Immigration Program
Dr. Anne-Charlotte Harvey will present a program with accompanying music, about Swedish immigration. Sponsored by the BHHA, this hour-long program will be held in the Dairy Building at 410 North Erickson Street at 7pm. Call 309 927-3899 for more information.