Friday, December 7, 2018

Make Some Lucia Buns

St. Lucia's Day is celebrated in Sweden on December 13 during the darkest days of winter. Martyred St. Lucia depicts the “bringer of light” at festivals throughout Europe – and Bishop Hill too! Here in Bishop Hill, during our two-night festival, visitors are served sweet treats and coffee by young girls dressed as the saint. The celebration opens our Christmas season. Our Lucias wear white gowns and crowns of greenery with candles symbolizing the promise of the sun's return to the cold dark world.

In Swedish homes on Lucia's day, the young girls of the family dress as St. Lucia and present their parents with breakfast in bed. The breakfast tray usually includes a pot of tea, some milk, and some St. Lucia Buns or Lussekatter (Lucia Cats). These saffron buns get their name from the whimsical shapes they take when made: figure-eight shaped cats, "S" shaped for saffron. 
• 1 cup milk
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2 pkg. dry active yeast (4 1/2 tsp.)
• 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 eggs, well-beaten, plus one egg white
• raisins or currants to decorate

Crumble saffron threads into melted butter. Let sit 30 minutes to an hour; this intensifies the saffron flavor. 
Heat milk to a light boil, turn off heat when it reaches the scalding point, with small bubbles across the top. Stir in melted butter, sugar, and salt. Pour mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool. Stir in yeast and let sit for another 10 minutes. 

Add 3 1/2 cups flour to the liquid. Stir in two well-beaten eggs. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough – just enough so the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl and turn to coat all sides. Cover with a clean towel and allow dough to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 

Punch down the risen dough. Lightly knead two or three times on a floured surface. Pinch off small handfuls of dough and roll into snakes. Shape snakes into "S" shaped buns or other desired shapes. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with the towel again, and allow buns to rise until doubled - about an hour. 
Decorate them with raisins, brush with egg white, and bake in preheated 375ยบ oven about 15 minutes or just until brown. Makes about 20 St. Lucia Lussekatter.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Farewell Bob Carter, July 15, 1944 - November 7, 2018

This bit of sad news made it to the in-box of this BHOSA blog. Since there are so many in Bishop Hill that fondly remember Bob, his obituary, provided by his friend, Cain Burdeau, is shared for you here.
Bob died on Nov. 7 in a town in southern Italy. His death was caused by a stroke. He was in Puglia for one of his annual visits to longtime friend, Bob Burdeau.     

He was born in Los Angeles on July 15, 1944 and was raised a Quaker. He grew up on his family's farm in Washington and at a young age was one of the first locals to buy a hay baler, testing out his precocious entrepreneurial skills. Bob spent a year of high school in Guatemala and was also in student-led political protests there.

One of his many accomplishments was writing the alma mater of Battle Ground High School to his mother's musical composition. As a young man, he worked as a political intern in Washington, D.C. As a Quaker, he was a conscientious objector.

He journeyed to Alaska by boat and became the sole member of the East Addington Trading Company. He sold hard-to-come-by items to residents up and down the Alaskan panhandle, announcing his arrival at harbors in his boat by firing off cannons.

The sea remained a constant in his life. He built a sailboat, the Kelly Bogus, at Wyman's Marina in Anacortes. For more than 20 years, he worked on fishing boats and tenders, much of the time as a captain. He built a house on Gravina Island, near Ketchikan, and a house in Germany, where he lived in the off-season of fishing, with his then-wife and children.

Later, he worked as a tow boat and barge traffic controller on the upper Mississippi for Ingram Barge Co. while living in Bishop Hill, Illinois, a Swedish settlement of religious pilgrims.

With the death of his beloved younger brother, Richard Carter, Bob turned to the Camino di Santiago in Spain for solace, beginning many years of arduous walking through Spain. In his final year, he walked through Bosnia, Macedonia and Albania. His final walking trip, in Assisi, Italy, was with dear friends from Anacortes, Washington.

He was intensely spiritual throughout his life and liked to attend religious ceremonies wherever he went, regardless of denomination. He owned few possessions, preferred a jacket rather than a pillow to rest his head on and routinely gave away his belongings. In Bosnia, he gave his sleeping bag and bedroll to a Syrian refugee he met in a park.

In his final years, he cultivated a new passion: film-making. A strange encounter he had in the 1970s with a mysterious Italian from Puglia became the inspiration for "Nasumice", a feature-length movie he made with Caleb Burdeau, the director. The movie was premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival in August, with Bob in attendance. Bob was working on the script for a new film based on his experiences with the East Addington Trading Company when he died.

He is survived by his children, Oliver Carter and Iola Carter of Germany; his step-daughter Mira Kovacova of New York City; one grandchild; one brother, Roger Carter; and a host of friends throughout Italy, Germany, Washington state, Illinois and many other places he lived in and traveled.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thanks to all of the volunteers who set up, baked cookies, sold cookies and cleaned up. Our 2018 Cookie Walk was a great success! 
Have a fun and safe holiday season.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cookie Walk Coming Soon

Join us for our annual
at the Colony School
Fri, Nov 23 and Sat, Nov 24 from 9am to 4pm
Grab some tasty treats for the holidays! 
Purchase confections by the pound.

This is a fund-raiser for, and sponsored by, 
The Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Association and 
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 7:30am and 9am on Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Lowell Gilbert, June 10, 1941-November 3, 2018

Former Bishop Hill resident, Lowell Gilbert, 77, of Rock Island passed away Saturday Nov. 3, 2018, in Rock Island. Lowell and his wife, Judith, were previous proprietors of the B H Colony Hospital B&B. While residents, they were active in Bishop Hill's organizations. Lowell leaves behind many friends who will miss him for the kindness and quiet good will he always showed his Bishop Hill neighbors.

A memorial visitation and celebration of Lowell’s life will be 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 3030 7th Ave., Rock Island, with a Time of Remembrance by family at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Jordbruksdagarna 9-29 & 9-30

Jordbruksdagarna is a bit hard to pronounce; it is Swedish and means
"earth work days" or "agriculture days" 
but to an Old Settler, it means it's time to make the STEW!

Mother Nature has been stingy with fair weather this season. This weekend may be no exception. Please know that rain or shine the stew will go on. In the event of a cool miszzle, stop by the Colony School where both fellowship and our traditional beefy stew will warm you right up!

Please join us for Jordbruksdagarna 
from 10am to 5 pm
Saturday, September 29 & Sunday, September 30

BHOSA Traditional Colony Stew and Rice Pudding!
Music: Hammer and Pick - Noon & 2pm
Nordic Dancers - 1pm & 3pm
Children’s Games - 2pm 
Forging / Flax Processing / Rope Making / Woodworking / More!
Pumpkins, Mums, Goat Milk Products, Gourds, Popcorn, 
Antiques, and Primitives. Petting Zoo by the Burns Booster 4-H club
Saturday only
Brian “Fox” Ellis, as John Deere, will present a century of
 agricultural history at an 11 am performance in the village park gazebo
Sunday only: 
Community Church Service 10am   

BHHA Food Stand with Svenska Varm Korv, Swedish Hotdogs, and
Pork Burgers 11am - 2pm Saturday and Sunday

Galesburg duet, Mockingbird, will perform old time blues on Saturday from 1-3pm. 
Join the fun south of the Hotel from Noon-4pm on Saturday and Sunday for 
Brick Making / Corn Husk Dolls / Apple Cider Pressing / Corn Shelling 
Sorghum Pressing / Cooking / Hard tack baking

Concert by singer/songwriter from Uppsala. 
Johan Johansson will perform songs about Swedish history
at 11am on Saturday 

Tour of Bishop Hill with Brian “Fox” Ellis Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. 
This tour is both educational and entertaining for all ages;
adults $10, children $5

Vintage baseball featuring the
Springfield Long Nine and the Chicago Salmon
Games played by 19th century baseball rules
starting at 11:30am on Saturday

The BHHA will dedicate the Spets Stuga, at 404 North Erickson Street, 
as a children’s pioneer playhouse at 4pm on Sunday.
Refreshments will be served in the Dairy Building following the dedication.

 11am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday making stops at 
the Henry County Museum, the Village Park, and the Colony Church 

Outside Antique Tractors and Equipment Display

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Bishop Hill celebrates Old Settlers' Day on Saturday, September 8

The Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association was organized in 1896 to observe the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Bishop Hill Colony. Since 1962, Old Settlers’ Day has been celebrated on the second Saturday in September. This year the BHOSA, now in its 122nd year, will hold this annual event on Saturday, September 8th.
We invite the public to join us at the Bishop Hill Colony School for a Chicken Dinner served from 11:30am until 1pm.  In addition to some delicious baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, slaw, Swedish rye bread, homemade pie, and good strong coffee is included with the meal. The price of a meal is $10.00 and comes with a beverage and dessert.  Children under 8 years old pay half price - only $5.00.
After dining, head to the Village Park Gazebo for the afternoon program. Highlights include music by Bishop Hill’s High Society Band and stories of the Colony passed down from generation to generation. This year, Jelena Todorovich will be our featured speaker. Patrick Sloan will provide the musical entertainment.
In the event of rain the program will be held at the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church. 

The following day, on Sunday September 9th, the Colony School will host former students and teachers of surrounding area country schools as they gather to celebrate their heritage at the annual Colony School Reunion.

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.  

Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 Swedish Stomp Results: Fun was had by all!

They are off!
There were 74 entrants registered for the 2018 Stomp; a total of 64 runners and walkers undertook the 5K course. The crisp, sunny morning was invigorating. It was perfect race weather.
Our wind whipped banner
The 2018 Stomp was dedicated to the former BHOSA President, Cinda Anderson, who served as Race Director for more than 10 years. She passed away earlier this year. Cinda is fondly remembered by the organization's members and was much missed on race day.
The Stomp winds through beautiful Bishop Hill
Special thanks to BHOSA President, Randy Anderson, for stepping in and coordinating the event this year and to Mike Keup for overseeing the race and manning the stop watch and printers. Thanks to Lou Lourdeau who kindly shared these action-packed photos!
The skamparoos having some fun
The BHOSA appreciates the support of our local businesses and all its members who worked behind the scenes to ensure the enjoyment and comfort of our guests.
Find the original Krans sign at the BH Museum on the south side of the village
The organizers of this race wanted to give it a Swedish flair. They called it a “Stomp” and took inspiration for its logo from a wooden sign painted by Olof Krans for the John August Noyd Boot and Shoe Store. Ever since, the winners of the Stomp are awarded a wooden boot. This year the boots were carved and donated by Paul Terpening of Geneseo, IL. Thank you Paul.
President Anderson awards boot to Women's Champion, Karen Brophy 
President Anderson awards boot to Overall Winner, Reese Borlin

To all the runners, walkers, and little skamparoos: 
This race is for you. Thanks for your participation.
The 2018 Swedish Stomp Results
Men’s Race Results:
Overall Winner – Reese Borlin, Washington, IL  17:06
2.  Dave Hummel, Knoxville, 22:02
3.  Jeremy Randolph, Galesburg, 22:33
4.  Anthony Dearing, Kewanee, 22:59
5.  James Campbell, Kewanee, 24:36
6.  Joe Peters, Oneida, 26:38
7.  Jeff Scheider, Geneseo, 27:17
8.  Kim McCubbin, Colona, 27:32
9.  Mike Shields, Rushville, 28:17
10.  Jake Conrad:  Galva, 28:47
11.  Jerome Stenger, Hampshire, 29:32
12.  Amos Campbell, Kewanee, 29:53
13.  Tom Campbell, Kewanee, 30:00
14.  Brad Nikles, Lincoln, 30:42
15.  Jonathan Johnson, Woodhull, 30:58
16.  Mike Massie, Galva, 32:23
17.  Glen Gustafson, Galesburg, 36:52
18.  Terry Shields, Galva, 36:53
19.  Marshall Randolph, Monmouth, 38:29
20.  Wayne McIntire, Galva, 39:25
21.  Mark Jeffrey, Galva, 39:36
22. Bryant Jeffrey, Galva, 39:39
23.  Drew Larson, Galva, 44:09
24.  Tommy Funke, Bishop Hill, 44:35
25.  Ty Dowell Keup, Bishop Hill, 44:35
26.  James Peterson, Galesburg, 45:08
27.  Tim Montooth, Galva, 1:01:26
Women's Race Results
Overall Women's Champion - Karen Brophy, Des Moines, Iowa, 23:59
2.  Heather Anderson, Galva, IL, 24:52
3.  Allison Kopp, Osco, 25:25
4.  Teresa Thompson, Galesburg, 26:08
5.  Sedonie Scheider, Geneseo, 26:20
6.  Patty Gustafson, Galesburg, 26:24
7.  Jessica Jones, Galesburg, 27:27
8.  Annie Campbell, Kewanee, 29:59
9.  Beth Johnson, Galva, 30:55
10.  Mary Bergren, Kewanee, 31:20
11.  Kaleena Conrad, Galva, 31:34
12.  Cassandra Murdock, Oneida, 33.03
13.  Sheryl Dowden, Sycamore, 33:20
14.  Jacqy Peterson, Moline, 34:30
15.  Sherri Matuszyk, Kewanee, 34:39
16.  Barb Nikles, Lincoln, 34:43
17.  Rita Burrows, Galva, 34:58
18.  Krista Swanson, Oneida, 35:01
19.  Taylor Burke, Altona, 35:40
20.  Laura Burke, Altona, 36:00
21.  Makayla Bern, Orion, 36:00
22.  Mary Bennison, Dahinda, 36:27
23.  Claire Hermie,Kewanee, 37:35
24.  Patricia Gerrond, Neponset, 38:59
25.  Missy McCubbin, Colona, 39:32
26.  Dawn Peters, Oneida, 40:03
27.  Sarah Horr, Osco, 43:12
28.  Marti White, Galva, 44:36
29.  Carmen Peterson, Galesburg, 45:07
30.  Whitney Bergren, Galva, 46:11
31.  Karin McIntire, Galva, 47:23
32.  Vickie Massie, Galva, 56:08
33.  Stacy Hanks, Galva, 56:22
34.  Emily Vought, Milan, 56:23
35.  Gin Gartin, Galva, 56:24
36.  Kim Thrush, Bishop Hill, 1:04:52
37.  Kelly Ellis, Traverse City, Michigan, 1:04:54