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Bishop Hill Colony

Bishop Hill Colony

Bishop Hill (IL), 61419, United States

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(309) 927-3042

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Description Bishop Hill Colony is a historic district in Bishop Hill, Illinois. Bishop Hill was the site of a utopian religious community which operated as a commune. It was founded in 1846 by Swedish pietist Eric Janson and his followers. The community was named Bishop Hill after the parish of Biskopskulla in Uppland, Sweden.HistoryFounded in 1846 by religious dissidents who emigrated from Sweden to establish a new way of life on the Illinois prairie, the colony was run as a commune until its dissolution in 1861. The Bishop Hill Colony was the landmark Swedish settlement in Western Illinois leading the large Swedish-American communities in Galesburg, Rock Island, and Chicago. Its archives, artifacts, and structures today are important documents for the study of immigration, ethnic heritage, and 19th century communitarian societies."A number of historically significant buildings have survived and are scattered throughout the village, four of which are owned by the state of Illinois and managed as part of the Bishop Hill State Historic Site. In addition to the historic structures, the state owns the village park with a gazebo and memorials to the town’s early settlers and Civil War soldiers. A brick museum building houses a valuable collection of folk art paintings by colonist Olof Krans. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1984.