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.
Discover why Bishop Hill remains a utopia on the prairie today!
Bishop Hill springs to life as shops and museums open for the season from 10am-5pm. Guests are greeted with coffee, cookies, and special spring classes. 309-927-3899 Read more here.
Join the VASA National Archives and Museum as we open our doors for the 2017 season with an Opening Reception for a new exhibit. The new exhibit will display Swedish and Swedish-American handcrafts, art and the rise of the handcraft (sjold) movement in Sweden. Light refreshments available throughout the day.
The public is invited to join Sue Ruxton, Master Gardener University of Illinois Extension, for a free program at the Bishop Hill Museum at 1pm. She will discuss attracting birds to your yard and answer questions on how you can make your landscape more bird friendly. Packets of bird nesting materials will be available at the Museum. 309-927-3345