#SmallTownSaturday – Bishop Hill, IL

*Originally posted on July 1, 2017*

Today is our first #SmallTownSaturday feature! Bishop Hill, IL.

In 1846, spiritual leader Erik Jansson guided a group of Swedish settlers in pursuit of religious freedom to Illinois, where they established a small communitarian society that came to be known as Bishop Hill. Although the colony disbanded fifteen years later in 1861, the cultural and historical legacy of the Janssonist community endures.

Bishop Hill (population 128), a National Landmark Village, celebrates its Swedish heritage with events like its annual Julmarknad (Christmas Market) and Midsommar Music Festival. Learn more about this #SmallTownSaturday feature from our collection of Bishop Hill Colony correspondence, or enjoy a piece of Bishop Hill’s cultural heritage by flipping through the pages of our copy of The Art of Olof Krans: A Prairie Vision.

Above is a photograph of the Colony Church, which still stands today.

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