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Walking Tour of Bishop Hill, Illinois
Entry 8 of 26
This is a contributing entry for Walking Tour of Bishop Hill, Illinois and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

On the first floor of this building was a rather modern forge with room for six blacksmiths, metal lathes, a trip hammer and other machining tools operated by a steam-engine powered line shaft. More than nails and horse shoes, this shop made all manner of metal tools, hinges, chandeliers, and the metal components of carriages, wagons and sleighs. Knowing that next door was the carpenters shop and on the second floor of this building was Wagon Hall, where the pieces came together to make the wagons. Shakers in Kentucky purchased these wagons and the Krans Livery Stable out back displays similar models. Today the building houses the Prairie Arts Center where you can often find artists and craftspeople weaving and hooking rugs, or making brooms.


  • Blacksmith Shop - Today houses the Prairie Arts Center with a broom-maker, weaver, rug hooker and other local crafts available.
  • Historic photo of the Blacksmith shop from the late 1880s.
  • Blacksmith Shop Sign
  • These back stairs have an unusual angle and wide bearing because they were originally used to role wagons down from Wagon Hall where the buggies were put together. Originally there was an earthen ramp with stairs being built later. These have recently been refurbished.

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

Bishop Hill Heritage Association

Brian "Fox" Ellis