Bishop Hill, Illinois

Bishop Hill was settled in 1846 by a group of Swedish religious dissidents who believed that simplicity was the way to their salvation. Their leader, Erik Janson, named the colony for Biskopskulla, his birthplace in Sweden. The community was united by necessity and religious belief, but dissension arose within the following and the ideals were abandoned in 1861. The town, inhabited by descendants of the collective's original immigrants, is a good source for Swedish collectibles and crafts.

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association is located at 103 N. Bishop Hill ST, P.O. Box 92, Bishop Hill, IL 61419. The Association can be reached by phone at 309.927.3899.

The Bishop Hill State Historic Site, located 2 miles north of US 34 on a 5-acre tract, commemorates the Swedish communal settlement with five museums. Skills and crafts of the way thing were in colony life are demonstrated on site, and 16 of the buildings have been restored. Twenty-five shops include gorgeous antiques, fine imports, and handicrafts. Bishop Hill Museum contains an exceptionally unique collection of early American primitive paintings by Olof Krans, now recognized as one of America's foremost folk artists. Cultural events are often held here. Food is available. Allow 4 hours minimum to see all the sights, daily 9-5; closed JAN 1, Thanksgiving and DEC 25. Donations are welcome and admission may be charged to some of the buildings. Phone 309.927.3899 or 309.927.3345.

The Henry County Museum at Knox and Park streets, has furnished period rooms and agricultural equipment. The museum is open daily 10-4 from the last weekend in April through November 30. Phone 309.927.3528 for more information. MyWikiBiz