Once home to many Swedish immigrants, Bishop Hill – also known as Utopia on the Prairie – is worth a visit any time of the year. Designated as a State Historic Site and a National Historic Landmark, visitors from near and far come to experience this historic village rich in Swedish-American tradition.
Nearly a dozen structures remain from the old colony, dating back to 1846. As you stroll through the streets of Bishop Hill, you can imagine the early days as peeks into the past are clearly displayed throughout the town.
Ecape big city living and discover what life was like as you tour beautifully restored brick and clapboard buildings. Take a moment to browse many of our unique shops for antiques, pottery, Swedish imports, quilts and baskets. Indulge your taste buds as you sample authentic Swedish meatballs at one of our restaurants. Watch history unfold as artisans demonstrate the art of blacksmithing and broom making. Or, you can visit one of our five museums full of history and artifacts of the original colony of Bishop Hill. All museums, specialty shops and restaurants are within walking distance.
In addition to being the showpiece for Henry County, Bishop Hill also has many festivals and events scheduled throughout the year to help make your visit with us more enjoyable. This includes:
- Valborg Bonfire – A traditional Swedish spring welcome
- Area Quilt Show at the Colony School
- Midsommar Music Festival – Complete with Swedish music and barn dance
- Annual Country Antique Market
- Antique Car Show
- Clay and Fiber Fest – Includes pottery, spinning, weaving, and broom making demonstrations
- Pie and Ice Cream Social
- Jordbruksdagarna – Ag days featuring traditional 19th century harvest activities
- Julmarknad – Sights, sounds, and aromas of Christmas past
Visit and enjoy Bishop Hill, a peaceful prairie retreat, any season of the year!