Welcome to Bishop Hill, Illinois

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.

 Search Illinois Periodicals Online for more of Bishop Hill’s remarkable history.

Renew your spirit in this peaceful place.
er why Bishop Hill remains a utopia on the prairie today!






Join us at these Upcoming
Bishop Hill Events

April 01 To April 30 - Hello Spring and Welcome to Bishop Hill

As April begins, most shops in Bishop Hill resume their regular schedules and welcome you with fresh ideas. We invite you to experience Bishop Hill renewed! Check the directory for individual hours of operation or call 309-927-3899 for details on upcoming events.

April 07 To April 08 - Toy Tractor Weekend

Over one hundred toy tractors and implements of all shapes, sizes, and brands will be exhibited at the Steeple Building.  Local collectors will be displaying their treasures for just one weekend at the Steeple Building. Sponsored by the BHHA. 309-927-3899. Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 11am-4pm. 

April 14 - Music Concert to Commemorate Illinois’s Bicentennial

Through music, singer and hammered dulcimer player, Phil Passen, will tell the story of Illinois and how it has been shaped by its land, its and natural features, and the many cultures that have flourished here. The public is invited to this free concert in the Dairy Building at 1:30pm. Sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and the Illinois Humanities Council.