Old Settlers’ Day will celebrate 175th anniversary of Bishop Hill Colony

Local News

Old Settlers’ Day parade. Photo by Lou Lourdeau.

The Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of Bishop Hill Colony, and the 125th Anniversary of the Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association, on Saturday, Sept. 11.

The day’s events begin at 10 a.m. with a parade around the village park. The traditional parade is held every five years and features historical floats, the Bishop Hill High Society Band, entries of Americana old and new, marching bands, vintage tractors, fire trucks and more. 

The traditional Old Settlers’ dinner will be held at the Old Colony School from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Cost of the meal is by donation only. Carry-out will be available. 

The 125th annual Old Settlers’ Reunion will begin at 1 p.m. with a concert in the park by the Bishop Hill High Society Band, with the program at 2 p.m. Featured speaker is Janet (Troline) Kenyon, a Colony descendant who was raised on the family farm two miles southeast of Bishop Hill.  

Musical entertainment will be provided by Frankie Joe & Kinfolk, a spirited band playing original songs. Seating is limited, so visitors should bring lawn chairs.

Also on Sept. 11, East Moline author Lilly Setterdahl will sign books on the porch of the Steeple Building from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Her two latest books are “Swedish-American Portraits,” interviews of area families, and  ”Bishop Hill Reframed,” a fresh look at Bishop Hill history.  Born in Sweden, Lilly has translated Bishop Hill documents for 60 years and written 25 books, five of which are novels.

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