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Walking Tour of Bishop Hill, Illinois
Entry 4 of 26
This is a contributing entry for Walking Tour of Bishop Hill, Illinois and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association archives hold some of the original account books and we can see that they sold thousands of brooms, miles of linen and miles of hooked rugs. Besides being a store, the first floor was also used as a post office for more than 80 years and the second floor housed offices and an apartment. After the Colony broke up in 1861, the store continued to operate for almost another 100 years. However, due to years of neglect the southwest corner collapsed in April of 1969. It was after this event that the building was purchased by the newly formed Bishop Hill Heritage Association. After several years of an extensive restoration project, the Colony Store was reopened on May 25, 1975. Counters, shelving and other display fixtures from the original store were retained. Swan Swanson, a colony trustee who lived upstairs during the Colony era, took over the store after the colony dissolved. Today, the Colony Store offers a wide array of Swedish imports, locally roasted coffees and chocolates, souvenirs, seasonal home décor, though most young folks refer to it: the candy shop.


  • The Colony Store
  • The Colony Store 1933
  • Colony Store at Christmas
  • The Colony Store in 1933 with a view of the Administrative buildings and hotel in the background.

Official Walking Tour Bishop Hill Illinois Guidebook to Buildings, 2010.

Wheat Flour Messiah, Eric Jansson of Bishop Hill by Paul Elmen Southern Illinois University Press 1997

History of Bishop Hill, A Story of Swedish Pioneers Collected and Compiled by Theo J. Anderson, self-published.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Brian "Fox" Ellis

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Arthur Poulin, and Bertha Whitman, Hill, Joseph, Elmer R Pearson, and Ray Pearson, photographer. Jansonist Colony, Colony Store & Post Office, Main & Bishop Hill Streets, Bishop Hill, Henry County, IL. Bishop Hill Henry County Illinois, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/il0406/.

Bishop Hill Heritage Association

Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Arthur Poulin, and Bertha Whitman, Hill, Joseph, Elmer R Pearson, and Ray Pearson, photographer. Jansonist Colony, Colony Store & Post Office, Main & Bishop Hill Streets, Bishop Hill, Henry County, IL. Bishop Hill Henry County Illinois, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/il0406/.