In 1846, the Bishop Hill Colonists came from five provinces north of Stockholm. The province of Hälsingland provided the largest population that left their homeland for the Bishop Hill Colony. This new exhibition, entitled Hälsingland: Today and Yesterday, describes the history and culture of this province.   Life size images of a few of those brave Hälsingland Colonists will greet visitors as they enter the Steeple Building Museum.  In the Yesterday room, Life from the early Bishop Hill Colony days is exhibited, as well as the Gold Rush participation.  A reproduction of the Hälsingland Regiment flag is on display with the names of the Hälsingland men who were in the military in Sweden.

The Today room of the exhibition shows guests what crafts are still active in Hälsingland.  Linens from the village of Vaxbo, jewelry from a silversmith in Segersta, wood working, metal items, and pottery are all on display. Swedish royalty is touched upon, as well as Hälsingland entertainers and artists.  In addition, the villages of Delsbo and Mo have antique folk dresses on display, on loan from the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.

This is an exhibit that everyone will enjoy, Swedish or not!  The official exhibit opening is on Bishop Hill’s Midsommar Music Festival, June 18th, 2016.  This exhibition was created for the Bishop Hill Heritage Association by Cheryl Dowel and Kerstin Lane. The exhibit will close on October 1, 2016. For more details, please call 309 927-3899 or email