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!
There will be a meeting of the IWIB held in Bishop Hill at the VagnHall Galleri located on the 2nd floor of the Prairie Arts Center at 203 North Bishop Hill Street. This meeting is from 1pm to 3pm and will be open to the public. Learn how this Board helps to develop services and programs in order to meet the needs of Illinois employers and workers. Sponsored by the BHHA; for information call 309 927-3899 or visit the IWIB website.September 27 - Prairie Market
Find a variety of new, vintage, and collectible items on display for purchase from local and regional vendors on the grounds of the Vasa Archives in Bishop Hill. 8am-2pm
Bishop Hill's biggest event features traditional 19th century demonstrations, harvest activities, music, dancing, farm produce, and Colony stew. Sneak a peak at the fun in this short video clip. 10am-5pm.