Saturday, December 13, 2014

Barn Dance at the Colony School on 12/13

An Old Fashioned Barn Dance will be held at the Colony School featuring The Rusty Pickup Band on Saturday, December 13, at 7pm. All dances will be taught and called by Gail Hintze and Jim Hicks. Admission is $5 per person, and beginners are welcome. No partner is necessary.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Old-fashioned Cookie Walk in Bishop Hill

Grab some tasty treats for the holidays!
Purchase confections by the pound 
at our annual
Bishop Hill Cookie Walk
 held at the Colony School
Friday, Nov 28 and Saturday, Nov 29
 9am to 4pm
This is a fundraiser for, and sponsored by,
The Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Association
The Bishop Hill Community Methodist Church

Special thanks to all our local bakers 
who make this event a success!
We are grateful to you for taking the time to 
make and donate such a delightful selection of sweets.
We ask that they be delivered to the School 
between 7am and 9am on Friday and Saturday.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The kettle is empty; the Colony Stew was a big hit.

Fun was had by all this weekend at Bishop Hill’s 43rd annual harvest celebration, Jordbruksdagarna. If you left town hungry, it was not the fault of Bishop Hill cooks! Delicious food tempted visitors throughout the village. 
In 1972 the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association participated in the first Jordbruksdagarna by preparing and serving a Swedish style meal. Each year since then The Old Settlers have set up their tents and huge black kettle outside (this year on the west side of the park) to cook this traditional Colony Stew which has, in time, become a festival favorite. Crowds lined up for a hearty meal of beef and barley stew, hardtack, and rice pudding.

Many of the dishes prepared by the Old Settlers use simple fresh ingredients that would have been available to rural folk generations ago. The recipes have been passed down through Bishop Hill families and this Colony Beef Stew recipe is a perfect example. It was published in a Heritage cookbook decades ago, attributed to Beverly Spets, longtime resident and former Postmaster. Though it is scaled for a crowd, the proportions are easily converted to make a family sized meal. The original recipe is available at right to download; click the stewpot to print!

Have you enjoyed time in Bishop Hill? Even more fun than being a guest at our many events is being part of the team putting on the show, cooking up the delights, and rolling out the carpet for new friends. The Old Settlers are always happy to add new faces to their ranks. Good news: You don’t have to be old or a settler to hitch up to this group. We welcome anyone who wishes to keep these traditions rolling. Fun and fellowship are free to all interested – just use the email form to contact us. Next year you could stir that stew!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Old Settlers' prepare for Jordbruksdagarna

The weekend forecast calls for splendid weather! Come join us at Bishop Hill's harvest celebration this Saturday and Sunday. Read all the details HERE.
Hot and delicious stew for you!
Stew, hardtack, rice pudding - mmmmm
Since 1972, on the last weekend in September each year, Bishop Hill has celebrated the harvest festival, Jordbruksdagarna (pronounced yord-brooks-DAH-ga-na), Swedish for "Earth Work Days.” The park and locations about town are now being readied for this weekend's festivities. The Bishop Hill Old Settlers are hauling the old stew cauldron to the park and setting up tables for the traditional meal they prepare for festival guests each September. On the menu is colony stew, hard tack, and rice pudding.

Enjoy your meal in the beautiful park
Many family and  kids activities are planned
Shop our fabulous selection of harvest produce
Music for your enjoyment
Come and enjoy 19th century agricultural and artisan demonstrations, food, music, children’s activities, and a hearty colonial meal. Shop vendors selling produce, antiques, and baked goods. See firsthand what our ancestors did to create the world of luxury in which we live today!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Old Settlers' Day Reflections

Old Settlers' Day Past
The caption on the photo above, which is on display at the Henry County Historical Museum, indicates it was taken at the 70th Anniversary of the founding of Bishop Hill. The Old Settlers have held many, many celebrations honoring the history of this community. This year’s Old Settlers’ Day program was especially poignant.

Randel J. Anderson, Our Last Postmaster

The keynote speaker, Randel Anderson, delivered a brief history of mail service in rural Bishop Hill, citing all our preceding Postmasters and the contributions they made. This long list ended with Mr. Anderson’s own name and years of service; he is the current and, and sadly, the last Bishop Hill Postmaster. He will officially retire on September 30, 2014. Due to nationwide cutbacks by the USPS, the hours of operation of the BH Post Office will be reduced to half days and the position of Postmaster will be retired. His presentation was met with applause and expressions of gratitude from the audience. 

The day was sunny and warm and both the dinner and program were enjoyed by all. A dedicated group of volunteers keeps this event going and growing. A delicious chicken dinner was prepared and served by some of Bishop Hill's finest cooks. Nearly 100 supporters and friends attended. Participants travel to this annual event from distances near and far. They come to reflect on the past, enjoy the fellowship, and share thoughts on shaping the future of Bishop Hill. The simplicity of this ritual and the sincerity of this generous group is what launches and sustains lifelong friendships. Missed it? Add the date to your calendar for next year: September 12, 2015. If you’d like to be part of this “in crowd,” join the Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Association today. Use the contact form at right to request an application. New members are always welcome!

The Bishop Hill High Society Band
Preparing For The Feast
Chicken, Chicken, Chicken
Tables Ready For Guests
Serving A Delicious Meal
The  Room Was Filled With Diners
Warm Pie In A Sunny Window
The Hardworking Cleanup Crew
Knock On Our Doors. New Members Are Always Welcome!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Colony School Hosts Soup Supper

The Bishop Hill Colony School was the place to be Saturday night! It was the setting for the annual Soup Supper held during the weekend Fiber Arts Festival here in Bishop Hill. A table of handmade pottery bowls greeted hungry folks as they entered the dinning room. It's tradition that each guest keep their bowl; many visitors return each year to sample some hearty soups and to add to their bowl collection!
The Colony School is the venue for many such events and is available to the general public for rent. Are you searching for the right location for a private or public party?
The rustic charm of this faithfully restored schoolhouse - complete with its bell and blackboards - is the kind of setting that would make any occasion most memorable.
A spacious modern kitchen makes a catered affair easy to achieve. To reserve a spot for your next soiree, use the contact form at the right or call 309-927-3833 for information.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bishop Hill Car Show July 27

Bishop Hill Old Settlers’
Annual Car Show 
Sunday, July 27
Please join us in historic Bishop Hill for a day of automotive fun. Registration is 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The entry fee is $10.00. Participants judge the entries from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  Trophies for the 20 classes (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place), Best Interior, Best Paint, Best Engine and Best of Show, will be presented at 3 p.m. in the Village Park, part of Bishop Hill State Historic Site.
The classes are Street Rod, Street Machine 49-69, Street Machine 70-up, Trucks, 4x4 Trucks, Antique Pre-32, Antique 32-48, Original 49-59, Original 60-69, Original 70-79, Original 80-89, Original 90-99, Original 2000 and up, Corvette, Mustang, 55-56-57, Custom, Special Interest, Kids Class (Under 21), and Muscle Car.  Trophies will be awarded in each class.  Dash plaques will be given to the first 100 entries.  

Bishop Hill’s Volunteer Firemen will be serving a grilled pork chop meal in the Park during the Car Show. Proceeds from this show go to the restoration and preservation of the Bishop Hill Colony School completed in 1861.  It was the last major structure built before the dissolution of the Bishop Hill Colony (1846-1861). The Colony School, available for rental, is the headquarters of the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association.

Bishop Hill is located 50 miles southeast of the Quad Cities, 60 miles northwest of Peoria.  Take Route 34 west of Galva to the Bishop Hill Turn off. This historic Swedish communal settlement has 5 museums, 15 distinctive gift shops, working artisans, and 3 restaurants.  For additional information about Bishop Hill or the Car Show call 309-937-2474. Click HERE to download  an application.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Antique Show in Bishop Hill

Join us at the Bishop Hill Colony School 
Saturday, July 12th, 2014
9 am until 3 pm  
for the 
24th Annual Country Antique Market 
Admission is $5.00. Promoted by
Sweet Annie Primitives & the Bishop Hill Bakery & Eatery


This popular country antique market on the grounds of the old Bishop Hill Colony School, features 60 exceptional antique dealers from  Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.  A great selection of primitive antiques, folk art, early country items, textiles, stoneware, baskets, and more will be available during this one day market. Breakfast and lunch are available by the Bishop Hill Bakery & Eatery.
Exploring the Colony School and its grounds when it overflows with treasures is the ideal way to discern how splendid a venue is is for parties, reunions, and other happy events. Want to rent the School for your own use? Address the email link at right to contact the Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Association for terms.
While in town, make time for these interesting offerings:
From Generation to Generation
Folk Arts of Illinois

at the Steeple Building 
This show thoughtfully integrates the arts and stories of Illinois to create a visually engaging and educational perspective on the state’s cultural heritage.  Telling the stories of ten artists, the featured art forms represent a wide variety of traditions such as duck decoy carving, Irish fiddle, Mexican murals, and African American Quilts. Every artist is part of a larger tradition, and their stories prompt questions that ask all of us to consider What will I pass along?  This exhibit also includes information about Bishop Hill folk arts/artists, such as broom making and Olof Krans.  The exhibit runs through the summer, closing September 29.

Duck Decoy Carving Demo
at the Dairy Building
1:30 pm until 4:30 pmPat Gregory will present the are of decoy carving and painting  by demonstrating techniques in the tradition of the old time Illinois River Decoy Carvers. Pat’s great grandfather, George “Homerun” Barto was a noted Illinois River Decoy Carver and, Pat is following in his footsteps. These events are sponsored by the 
Bishop Hill Heritage Association

For more information call