A Community on the Prairie: Bishop Hill, Illinois will move to the Quad Cities campus after its time in Macomb. There, it will be displayed in the WIU-QC Library from March 18-April 15. 

“We are thrilled to host A Community on the Prairie: Bishop Hill, Illinois at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Library,” said Tom Finley of the WIU-QC Library. “Many Swedish immigrants came to the Quad Cities, and their descendants are very much with us today. This will generate great interest.” 

Bishop Hill Heritage Association (bishophillheritage.org), in partnership with the Bishop Hill State Historic Site, has created this traveling exhibit about the formation of the Bishop Hill Colony. The Bishop Hill Colony was a religious communal colony founded in 1846 by Eric Janson and his followers. The Colony survived for only 15 years but left a lasting legacy in immigration history. 

By 1930, 20 percent of all Swedish people in the world lived in the U.S. Immigration experts agree that much of this Swedish exodus to Illinois and the United States can be traced to the impact of the Bishop Hill Colony. Because of Bishop Hill’s importance to Swedish migration, not only is it a state historic site, but Bishop Hill is also a National Historic Landmark. In addition, 18 Colony buildings still remain and are in use today.

A Community on the Prairie: Bishop Hill, Illinois was produced by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and the Bishop Hill State Historic Site with financial support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Swedish Council of America and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.

The exhibit is open and free to the public.