Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Member Spotlight: Ray Ericson

To acquaint our online friends with the folks who make up the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association, this member spotlight will pop up here from time to time. Each entry will feature a bit about a member and what the organization means to them. We hope it will attract new members, compelled by the stories shared here. Don't be shy; just click the pie pic at right for a membership application. Sign up today!

We will start this series in an unusual way – focusing the spotlight on a dear, departed member of the BHOSA and the exrordinary gift given to our organization in his memory.
Ray the younger                            Ray the elder


Raymond “Ray” Lee Ericson, 73,
was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He died Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Ray lived a rich life, leaving lasting memories for everyone who knew him. Ray was an engineer and had everything planned out up to the end. He never lost his sense of humor and loved his family more than anything. Many of Ray’s Swedish ancestors lived in and around Bishop Hill and a memorial was established in Ray’s name. What follows was penned by the current BHOSA President, Randy Anderson. Below he describes the generous gift left to our organization in the name of his cousin, Ray Ericson:
When the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association hears of the passing of a Colony descendant, it is like another death in the family.  In many ways it is just that, even if we do not know them personally, or even if we have never heard their name before their death, there is a connection when we hear they were a descendant of the Bishop Hill Colony.
The Old Settlers has always been about family.  Since the founding of the Old Settlers in 1896, fifty years after the founding of the religious commune of Swedish immigrants on a small hill on the prairie in west central Illinois, it has always been about family.  
The Ray Ericson family at his June 30th Memorial in the Colony School
When the Raymond Lee Ericson family contacted the Old Settlers with a desire to establish a memorial fund for a major project to honor Ray, it was decided a new roof for the Colony Schoolhouse would be a fitting tribute to the memory of their beloved husband, father and grandfather and head of their family.  Ray had expressed a desire to contribute memorial money to the Colony School to help maintain it for future generations because both his parents attended school there.  A new roof was much needed, and the family assured the Old Settlers it would happen and wanted it completed for the memorial/celebration of life to be held when the family would gather in Bishop Hill on June 30th.  The roof was completed a week early and under budget.  With the memorial donations from the Ericson family, the new roof for the Colony School was fully funded and the family was able to see the completed project when they arrived for the memorial/celebration of life in honor of Ray.  
Our new Schoolhouse roof - thanks to Ray Ericson's most thoughtful gift

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sun, Fun & Cars at the 24th Annual Bishop Hill Car Show

 Bishop Hill Car Show Returns
Sunday, July 22, 2018 
Sponsored by The Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Association
Don't miss this great antique and classic car show. Registration is from 9am-11:30am, judging is from noon-1:30pm with awards presented at 3pm. Stay to enjoy a grilled pork chop meal in the park served by Bishop Hill’s Volunteer Firemen. Show proceeds go to the restoration and preservation of the 1861 Bishop Hill Colony School. 
The entry fee is just  $10.00. 309-927-3345 or 309-525-5665.
All trophies are participant judged: 
Best Interior /Best Paint /Best Engine /Best of Show
Dash Plaques will be given to the first 100 entries. 
There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophy in each class.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Browse and Buy Antique Treasures Here!

The 28th Annual Bishop Hill 
Country Antique Market Returns
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Preparations are already underway. Teams of workers are pitching tents. By Saturday, the Colony School and its grounds will be filled with vintage finds from far and near. This popular country antique market features 60 exceptional antique dealers from  Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Here you'll find every sort of antique wares including primitive furnishings, country cupboards, folk art, pottery and early home goods.  
Don't miss out on the best - come early. Hours are 9am-3pm. Admission is $7.00.  This event is organized and promoted by Sweet Annie Primitives and the Bishop Hill Bakery & Eatery. 309-927-3072
Enjoy live music and pause for a bite to eat at the lunch stand. The event is held rain or shine; the spirit of the day is always sunny! The proceeds from this show will benefit a Bishop Hill organization.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hooray! The Colony School roof project has been completed!

Here are QC Roof Doctors putting the finishing touches on the bell tower, part of the roof project at the Old Colony School. Thank you QC Roof Doctors, Mother Nature and the Raymond Ericson Family for their generous memorial contribution, allowing the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association to put a new roof on our 1861 Old Colony School.
With a bit of scraping and touch-up painting to the tower, this roof project is now complete!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Dance around the Midsommar Maypole on Saturday, June 23rd at the Colony School.


The race is on! 
Will the schoolhouse roof be finished by Saturday for Midsommar? 
Put your money on this strong, steadfast crew from QC Roof Doctors. 


These men are amazing! 
I took my phone with me this morning when I went out to water my garden. Before the sun broke the tree line, the temp was 85 degrees; it felt even hotter. After working for an hour, I was too hot to continue. To my amazement, I saw that across the road a team of a dozen workers had begun to remove the old roof of the Colony School. I grabbed my phone from my pocket to capture the start of the project. I saw an error message on the screen. Apparently, my phone overheated in my pocket and turned itself off!  It was THAT HOT.
The workers continued throughout the day under the cruelest weather conditions. In well-choreographed moves, men removed the shingles as others followed them laying all the elements of the new roof. By 4 pm the west side was done. Hopefully, the balance will be finished in time for our Midsommar celebration on Saturday. Thank you Roof Doctors!
The Bishop Hill Old Settlers are committed to maintaining this building as a meeting house for the community and our visitors. It is available for rent for all occasions. Use the contact form at right to request a date. Hold your next event in this unforgettable setting.

Join the fun at Midsommar
Each Midsommar friends and visitors gather in Bishop Hill's village park for music and fellowship. Late in the afternoon a maypole is adorned with greenery and studded with flowers. A procession of revelers then delivers the decorated pole to the east lawn of the schoolhouse. The celebration continues to traditional tunes as the crowd dances around this symbol of the summer solstice.
This beautiful pageant is an enduring link to our Swedish culture and Bishop Hill’s colorful past. Please join us for this event. All are welcome.
Midsommar Schedule
Main Stage performances in the park

11 am - Black Hawk Pipes & Drums
1 pm - Kewanee Community Band/Chorus
 2 pm - Big River Reeltime Band    
3 pm - Nordland Band
 4 pm - The Maypole dressing begins.
A procession to the Colony School will be followed by dancing.

 7 pm - Barn Dance at the Colony School with The Ragged Robin Band. All dances called and taught by veteran caller Ms. Gail Hintze. 
No experience needed. Admission is $5 per person.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Bishop Hill's 2018 Honor Flight Benefit is June 10th

The Honor Flight Benefit returns to Bishop Hill on Sunday, June 10th from 3pm-6pm in the Bishop Village Park. This event honors area veterans by raising money to provide special trips for those chosen to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C.

Many hands make light work! Bishop Hill residents and local organizations (including many Old Settlers), work closely with Linda Spring and the dedicated crew of the Filling Station Restaurant, the organizers of the event.
The Illinois Patriot Guard and Legion Riders, area VFW and American Legion members, speakers, including Representative Dan Swanson, will participate in the program which will begin at 3pm with the Presentation of Colors, and end with a 21-gun salute and taps at 6pm. A barbecue rib dinner, live auction, and patriotic music are planned. To donate, to volunteer or to apply to participate, call 309-927-3355 or 309-507-3801.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Quilt Show Comes to the Colony School May 18, 19 & 20

Living in this little utopia, we can miss the magic that draws folks to Bishop Hill. It’s easy to forget how genuinely special this place is.

Cheery notes and May Day baskets were delivered to Bishop Hill residents on May 1st.  They illustrate what makes this community such a wonderful place to live, work, play, or visit. Bishop Hill is populated with dedicated people committed to the needs of their neighbors! Making May Day baskets is a charming seasonal tradition. Our village children had fun assembling these tokens at the Colony School and distributing them throughout town.

Do you have a group in search of a place to put on a show, have a dance, or throw a crafting party? We have the place for you!

The Colony School has played a big role in the development of Bishop Hill since it was built in 1861. It served the community as a meeting place and school until 1953 when it was purchased and restored by the BHOSA. It is now available to the public for rent. Consider this unique venue for your own event. Use the contact form at right to request info.
The Prairie Queen Quilt Club has reserved the Schoolhouse for the themed 2018 Quilt Show: Teapots, Toys, and Tumbling Blocks. Come and see the school at its best, packed with this year’s amazing selection of quilts on May 18 and 19, 10 am – 5 pm and May 20, 10 am – 4 pm. Admission $5.00.