The Bishop Hill Heritage’s acting troop is rehearsing once again! The past year this volunteer group presented “Bow To The Cow” several times in the area. That was a skit telling of historic facts of the Bishop Hill Colony Dairy Maids. Oh, yes, it had a little gossip and fun facts added. The debut of the new performance, “To The Church,” was given at the rededication of the Colony Dairy Building last October to the large crowd including several dignitaries.
“To The Church” is a skit including documented men and women who were “paired up” at one of the mass marriages in 1848. Eric Janson had placed a ban on marriage in the first years of Colony life at Bishop Hill. It was a logical ban to make upon arrival of the Swedes to the site of the future Bishop Hill Colony. There was not enough lodging space for couples to live, causing women and men to live dormitory style in the first living quarters of the dug-outs. In the time of the year the immigrants arrived, there was limited food supply for those folks, to create more life was not wise. Thus, the marriage ban that lasted 2 years.
The Colony couples portrayed in the skit and are documented from the mass marriage are: Lars Gustav and Anna Agren Kihlstrom,; Olof and Brita Pehrsdotter Lind; and Erik Blom and Maria Charlotta Andersdotter who later married Lars Olsson Forsberg. At the conclusion of the presentation, a life-ending story is given of the couples.