For the 120th consecutive year, the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association has announced plans to celebrate the anniversary of the founding in 1846 of the Bishop Hill Colony on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The day’s activities include a parade, traditional chicken dinner, band concert, and program.
Beginning at 10 a.m., the distinctive Old Settlers’ Day Parade features floats telling the history of Bishop Hill. Scenes of the past come to life with entries such as grain harvesting, dairy maids, corn planting, and more. In the event of rain the parade will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11.
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, slaw, 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. Following the concert the annual program will start at 1:30 p.m. Since 1996 descendants of the Bishop Hill Colony have been presenting stories of those original settlers and the generations that followed. This year Nancy Webach will be the featured speaker. She is a descendant of Gustav and Anna Johnson. A graduate of Geneseo High School she attended Northern Illinois University and now lives in Mexico, Missouri. Paul Collinson will provide the music with songs. Brian “Fox” Ellis will present a short skit about Jonas Olson. The rain location for the High Society Band Concert and Program is the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church.
The day’s activities will end with a social time at the Colony School. Coffee and Swedish rusks will be served while guests socialize.
Weekend activities continue on Sunday, September 11, 2016 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.