Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Stew for all at Jordbruksdagarna

Bishop Hill has held its harvest festival since 1972 on the last weekend in September. Jordbruksdagarna, a Swedish word meaning “earth work days” will be held this Saturday and Sunday. The park and other locations about town are now being readied for this weekend's festivities which will include a variety of nineteenth century craft demonstrations throughout the village. Artisans will make rope, craft barrels, process flax, create wood carvings, and more. Vendors will sell farm produce, pumpkins, pioneer popcorn, and other tasty treats from 10am-5pm both days.
The Bishop Hill Old Settlers are hauling the old cauldron to the park and setting up tables for the traditional meal they prepare each year for festival guests. Follow your nose to the big black bubbling kettle for a hearty meal of beef and barley stew, hardtack, and rice pudding. Come and eat like a colonist!
Hands-on activities behind the Colony Hotel and will include sorghum pressing and cooking, corn shelling, brick making, apple cider pressing and corn husk doll making.

Afternoon performances in the Park both days by Hammer and Pick at noon and 2pm, and the Nordic Dancers at 1pm and 3pm will make you tap your feet. The Burns Boosters 4-H club will host a petting zoo both days from 10am-4pm. Young and old are invited to join in the fun of old-fashioned children’s games beginning at 2pm.
Henry County’s agricultural heritage will be celebrated at the Henry County Historical Museum; a variety of antique tractors and implements will be on display. Find plowing demonstrations and corn shelling from 10am-noon and from 1-3pm on Saturday and Sunday. An antique tractor parade starting at 12:30pm is scheduled for both days.
There will be food for all tastes! In addition to the Old Settlers’ Stew, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association’s Svenska Varm Korv (Swedish hot dog dinner) will be served next to Colony Store from 11am-2pm both days. The Henry County Historical Society is having a bake sale both days at the Henry County Historical Museum. The Bishop Hill Arts Council is will also offer home-baked goods for sale at the Welcome Center on Saturday and Sunday.

For more details, call 309 927-3899 or email the Bishop Hill Heritage Association.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Day Events

The chicken is being prepared; a delicious meal will be served.

For the 119th consecutive year, the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association will be celebrating the anniversary of the founding in 1846 of the Bishop Hill Colony on Saturday, September 12, 2015.  The day’s activities include the traditional chicken dinner, band concert, and program.   From 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. the traditional Old Settlers’ Day Chicken Dinner will be served at the historic Colony School.  This delicious meal features chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, Swedish rye bread, homemade pie, and good strong coffee.  The $10/person cost includes beverage and dessert.  For children under 8 years the cost is $5.  
In the afternoon activities shift to the Park’s Bandstand.  The Bishop Hill High Society Band will present a 12:15 p.m. concert.  The annual program will start at 1:30 p.m. Bishop Hill Colony descendant, Paul Collinson, will speak and perform two musical selections. Olof Lind and Reynolds Johnson were his Colony ancestors.
We have plenty of room for you!
The day’s activities will end with a social time at the Colony School.  Coffee and Swedish rusks will be served while guests socialize.
Many hands make light work.

Dish dryers are always invited. Come and join us.

Weekend activities continue on Sunday, September 13, 2015 when the Colony School Reunion will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the Colony School.  All former students and who attended the Colony School and all who attended the country schools around Bishop Hill are invited to attend. Teachers of those schools are also invited.  Bring pictures, memories and stories to share with old classmates, teachers, and friends.  Refreshments will be served.  
For additional information on Old Settlers’ Day call 309-927-3044.  


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bishop Hill Old Settlers are Sprucing up for Fall

The Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 3rd at 7pm in the Colony School. Officers will be elected. Preparations for Old Settlers' Day, Sep  12, celebrating the 169th anniversary of the Colony and the 119th year of the Old Settlers' Association, will  be finalized. Stew in the park and the BHOSA participation in Ag Days celebrations on September 26 and 27 will be also be discussed.
A familiar sight:  BHOSA members stirring stew

Now is the time for current members to renew their pledge and pay annual dues. It is also the time when the BHOSA invites new members to join. 

All folks are welcome; you need not be old or a settler to become one of us!

All that is required is an interest in keeping the time-honored traditions of Bishop Hill alive and relevant today. Your efforts will be rewarded by the warm fellowship of other like-minded people striving to honor the past and share its wisdom with our guests.

Maintenance in and around the schoolhouse continues as the BHOSA prepares for the fall and winter holiday season.
Looking good: new garage doors!