It's business as usual in BH; full slate of events planned

Doug Boock

Despite the soon closing of three state-owned locations in Bishop Hill, all Bishop Hill museums, shops, dining and lodging accommodations continue to be open as usual and will continue to be open throughout this year.

All shops are open April through December, with many shops now also open January through March.

Vasa Archives, Henry County Museum, and the Steeple Building museum are maintaining their normal hours and conducting tours throughout the year.

The Bishop Hill State Historic Site is keeping its regular hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday) until its closing Oct. 1. 

The closing of the Bishop Hill Museum, Bjorklund Hotel and Colony Church are the only buildings which will be closed.

Upcoming events include:

Sept. 13 -Old Settler’s Day: Celebration of 162nd anniversary of Bishop Hill Colony and 112th year of Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association.

Sept. 14 - Colony School Reunion: Reunion of students and teachers from the Bishop Hill Colony School and area country schools. 2 to 4 p.m.

Sept. 27-28 - Jordbruksdagarna (“Ag Days): Celebrating Bishop Hill’s agrarian heritage, this event features traditional 19th century harvest activities and demonstrations, hands-on activities, music, farm produce, vintage baseball and Colony stew. All day.

Oct. 11-12 - A Gathering of Authors: Meet a variety of authors, who will sell and sign their books and read selected passages. Colony Blacksmith Shop. Noon to 5 p.m.

Nov.  2 - Olof Krans Birthday: 170th birthday of Bishop Hill artist. Birthday cake and punch. Bishop Hill Museum. 2 to 4 p.m.

Nov. 28-30 and Dec. 6-7 - Julmarknad Christmas Market: Sights, sounds and aromas of Christmas past. Swedish folk characters roaming the village. Special music, Swedish food specialties, handmade wares, folk art, antiques. Make and take holiday workshops. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dec. 12-13 - Lucia Nights Festival of Lights: Festival Of Lights. “Lucias” serve coffee and sweets in museums and shops. Special music at various village locations. Peoria Cooperative Academy Chorale performing. 6 to 9 p.m.

Dec. 25 - Julotta: Candlelight nondenominational service in Colony Church. Service conducted in English and Swedish. Coffee and rusks follow service. 6 a.m.

For more information on any of these events, call (309) 927-3899. A current calendar of events is available at