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!
Held at the Colony School Friday and Saturday from 9am-4pm. Local elves make cookies that are sure to please everyone. Come purchase holiday baked goods by the pound.
Swedish traditions come alive with folk characters causing mischief throughout the village. Music and the aroma of holiday fare fills the air. Shops are filled with handmade items, antiques, folk art, and other gift items. Fri & Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm. Read the full schedule of events HERE.November 28 - Welcome Center Fundraiser: A Murder Mystery Dinner Party!
The public is invited to attend an evening of dining and mystery provided by Die Laughing Productions at PL Johnson’s Dining Room at 6pm as they present The Mystery of the Ugly Christmas Sweater. A prize will be awarded for the ugliest Christmas Sweater! The cost is $38.00 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance; you can buy tickets online HERE. Proceeds will support the Bishop Hill Arts Council Welcome Center. For phone reservations call 309-927-3064.