This is another one of those "FINDS" that we had no idea existed. Bishop Hill is frequently called Utopia On The Prairie. The founders reached this area of the Edwards River in 1846. The immigrants sailed from Sweden to New York, made their way to Chicago by the Great Lakes and walked the last 160 miles to Bishop Hill. The determined group of immigrants were searching for religious freedom, an ideal community life, and greater prosperity in the New World.
This colony flourished until 1850 when their leader, Eric Janson, was murdered. At that time the governing of the Colony was turned over to a board of trustees. By 1861 with dissension among the trustees, and lessening of religius unity the Bishop Hill Colony was dissolved.
Evidence of the Colony still exists in the form of historic buildings as well as in its people, many who descend from those original settlers.
Colony Hotel - In 1857 this structure provided lodging for salesmen, journalists, immigrants and others visiting the Bishop Hill Colony.