Bishop Hill Illinois
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The Bishop Hill Arts Council

As a local non-profit organization formed in 1983, the objective of the Bishop Hill Arts Council is to promote those arts and artisans that reflect the traditions of Bishop Hill. The Council sponsors performing and visual artists at events and activities throughout the year including the Quilt Show, Midsommar, Jordbruksdagarna, Julmarknard, and Lucia Nights. This year the Arts Council has engaged Sheri Wood to create a contemporary version of the traditional 1930’s BH Block pattern quilt for the Arts Council Quilt Raffle. Sheri, shown at right stitching with her long arm quilting machine at the Village Smithy, will be using this instrument to produce a beautiful one of a kind queen sized heirloom quilt in Bishop Hill colors: blues, gold, yellow, and white. When completed, the quilt will travel throughout town on display. Proceeds from the raffle held on Lucia Nights fund an annual scholarship awarded to a high school student pursuing advanced studies in the Arts. Tickets are available in most village shops or can be downloaded HERE.

Bishop Hill Arts Council PO Box 47 Bishop Hill, IL 61419
Email the Arts Council

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association was organized in 1962 with the original goal of saving the Colony Era buildings from destruction and restoring them to functional use. They continue to maintain these historic properties, cultural heritage, and strive, through educational programming, to develop in each visitor a sense of pride in our past, present, and future. The administration office, museum, and archives of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association are located in the 1854 Steeple Building. The Heritage offers group tours by appointment. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.

Hours: April - December, Mon - Sat, 10 - 5, Sun 12 - 5,
January - March, Mon - Sat 10 - 4. Sun 12 - 4

Bishop Hill Heritage Association PO Box 92 Bishop Hill, IL 61419
Email the Heritage Association (309) 927-3899
Click for BH Heritage Association Membership Application

The Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Association

The Colony School, West Main Street, Bishop Hill, Illinois

The Old Settlers’ Association was organized in 1896 to observe the 50th anniversary of the founding of the colony. Since 1962, Old Settlers’ Day has been celebrated on the second Saturday in September. In 1953, the Old Settlers took the first community steps in preservation when they purchased and restored the 1861 Colony School. Today the schoolhouse, kitchen, and grounds are available to the public to rent for meetings, parties, and special occasions.

Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association 309-927-3833

The Bishop Hill State Historic Site

Four historically significant buildings are owned by the State of Illinois and are maintained as part of the Bishop Hill State Historic Site. These architectural treasures are the two-story Colony Church (1850), the three-story Colony Hotel (1852-ca. 1860), the Boys Dormitory (ca. 1850), and the Colony Barn (mid-1850s) that has been relocated behind the Hotel. In addition, the state owns the central village park containing a reconstructed gazebo and war monuments. On the south edge of the village, the state built a new brick Museum to house a comprehensive collection of paintings by colonist and self-taught artist, Olof Krans (1838-1916).

The state sponsors cultural events throughout the year and most notably coordinates and funds the traditional nineteenth-century harvest festival, “Jordbruksdagarna,” held on the last full weekend of September each year.

The Church, the Park, and the Gazebo can be reserved and rented for special events.
The Krans Museum, The Bjorklund Hotel, and the Colony Church are open to the public.
Groups are welcome and encouraged to make appointments.
Admission is free but donations are appreciated.
Hours and days of operation change with the season. Please call to confirm your visit.

Bishop Hill State Historic Site PO Box 104 Bishop Hill, IL 61419
Email the State Historic Site


The Henry County Historical Museum

202 South Park Street, Bishop Hill, Illinois

Thousands of historical artifacts tell the history of Henry County in this one-story museum. Exhibits include a single cylinder external combustion steam engine, a military room, a wind and water power display, 1800’s quilts and clothes, farm tools and machinery, a general store complete with a harness shop, and period doctor, dentist, and lawyer offices.

Group tours are welcomed; please call ahead.
Open everyday. May 1st - October 31st, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Henry County Historical Society PO Box 48 Bishop Hill, IL 61419
Email the Historical Society 309-927-3528

Vasa National Archives

106 South Bishop Hill Street, Bishop Hill, Illinois

In 1973 a large brick building was erected to provide a permanent home for the Vasa National Archives. The purpose of this organization is to house and preserve a vast variety of records, documents, works of art, science, inventions, and items manufactured by persons of Swedish ancestry. Here these records are made available to the public in an effort to educate and promote an appreciation of Swedish-American heritage and tradition. Open by appointment or at these times:

Hours: 10 AM - 4 PM Tuesday-Saturday, and 12-5 PM on Sundays
April 1 through December 20

Vasa Archives PO Box 101 Bishop Hill, IL 61419
Email Vasa Archives
Enchantment awaits you behind every door and window. Visit and be renewed by our ageless utopia.
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