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!
For one weekend only at the Steeple Building Museum in Bishop Hill, antique and vintage items of all shapes, sizes, and topics will be displayed by local residents. Objects will include Hull pottery, cap guns, 1933 Chicago World Fair items, VASA ship memorabilia, and much more. Sat 10am to 5pm; Sun noon to 5pm. Admission is free but donations are welcomed. Sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association. Call 309 927-3899, or check the BHHA website for more information.November 01 - Sweet Annie Christmas
Enjoy refreshments while you sample the primitive delights and Christmas handmades at this holiday open house at Sweet Annie Primitives from 10am-4pm. 309-927-3072November 01 - Clay Whistle Making Workshop
Potter Lou Hanson will be conducting a pipspel making workshop from 1pm to 3pm at the Dairy Building located at 410 North Erickson Street, on the north end of Bishop Hill. Participants will learn to make a red clay whistle… that works, called a pipspel. A pipspel is a clay whistle shaped like a bird, commonly used as a child’s toy in Sweden. Space is limited. To reserve your spot call 309 927-3899. All clay, tools, materials, and kiln firing are included in the $20.00 fee. You may pick up your pipspel two weeks after the workshop.