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History in the Paint Public Art Tour
In the summer of 2013, a collective of artists, called the Walldogs, came to Kewanee, IL to paint 15 historic murals depicting the long history and heritage of the city. These paintings can be found on many downtown facades, as well as at the Amtrak Station that brings new people to the area, every day. About this mural: Kewanee was founded in May of 1854, when the Military Tract Railroad was routed to the north of Wethersfield. The town founders were from Wethersfield Township to the south, Sylvester Blish, Ralph Tenney, Henry Little and Sullivan Howard, plus Nelson Lay from Wisconsin. Colonel Berrian, civil engineer who supervised the laying of the track through this area, was asked to choose a name and he decided on “Kewanee,” a Winnebago Indian word for “prairie chicken.” In 1921, Wethersfield’s 2,000 people asked to be annexed to Kewanee with its 16,000. That 18,000 would turn out to be Kewanee’s peak population.
Bishop Hill State Historic Site
Four historically significant buildings are owned by the State of Illinois and are maintained as part of the Bishop Hill State Historic Site. These architectural treasures are the two-story Colony Church (1850), the three-story Colony Hotel (1852-ca. 1860), the Boys Dormitory (ca. 1850), and the Colony Barn (mid-1850s) that has been relocated behind the Hotel. In addition, the central village park contains a reconstructed gazebo and war monuments. On the south edge of the village, stands a new brick Museum to house a comprehensive collection of paintings by colonist and self-taught artist, Olof Krans (1838-1916). Hours and days of operation change with the season. Please call to confirm your visit.
Three Sisters Park
Three sisters, Sadie, Lillian, and Goldie Cohen, expressed a wish that the 400-acres of farmland located adjacent to the city of Chillicothe, IL be dedicated as park land and a model farm for educational, recreational, and conservational purposes. While the Cohen sisters lived just off Moss Avenue in Peoria, they loved their family farm. Their vision was for the property to remain agriculturally related. The master plan envisions the creation of a living history farm, a central activity building, large festival areas, a welcome center, restaurant, agricultural equipment museum activity area, and outdoor natural amphitheater. The open fields and forested areas offer unique space for special events, concerts and festivals.
Bishop Hill Prairie Arts Center
Enjoy watching the potter in an open air studio creating artwork on the potter's wheel. The center also features rug, broom, weaving and spinning artisans.
The Outsider Gallery is filled with whimsical, elegant, and functional items from regional artisans Steve and Marsha Carleson. Marsha makes handmade paper, 3-dimensional paper pieces, bowls, vases, bottle cap tables and other objects of whimsy. Steve makes glass ornaments, beads, and fused glass pieces with the occasional traditional Swedish tina boxes combined into the mixture.
The Feathered Nest at Windy Corner Farm
A delightful artist haven offering a mix of Victorian eggs, feathered masks and wreaths, floral arrangements and intimate miniature portrait silhouettes. Windy Corner Farms and The Feathered Nest gardens and studio are an experience soon to be a cherished memory.
Bishop Hill Arts Council
Return to the serenity of an earlier time with a visit to this restored Swedish village. See traditional craftsmen at work, explore our museums, visit our numerous and unique shops and dine in one of our Swedish-American restaurants.
Henry County Historical Museum
This museum's detailed exhibits include a one-room schoolhouse, doctor's and dentist's offices, the war room, restored ag implements, machinery, an authentic windmill and a hog house.
View local, regional and national fine art and crafts artisans in the spacious gallery amid the treetop view of Bishop Hill village park. Painters, sculptors, photographers and artisans showcase their natural art in the expansive upstairs exhibit area. Special exhibits are held throughout the year.
Princeville Heritage Museum
The Princeville Heritage Museum opened to the public in 1999. The museum is a part of the Historical Association of Princeville (incorporated in 1987). The 15,000 square foot handicap accessible facility features antique agriculture equipment, steam powered tractors and threshers, area artifacts, a genealogy research area, and much more. In 2004 the Akron Townhouse School was moved to the museum grounds. The townhouse school allows children and adults alike to take a step back in time and participate in a day in the life of a student in the early 1900’s. With seating for 35, the conference facilities are equipped with state of the art audio visual equipment and wireless internet connection. The facility also includes a full kitchen.
Ryan's Round Barn
Tour this centennial barn, one of the largest in the country and one of forty-two left in the State of Illinois. It stands 80 feet high and 85 feet in diameter and features a 16-foot diameter floor to ceiling silo. A farm implement museum in on the main floor. Tours are provided by Friends of Johnson’s Park Foundation and groups of ten or more asked to call ahead. Open the first, third, and fifth Saturday beginning May through October. Hours: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Gallery on Second
View beautiful works of art from local and regional artists. Choose from watercolor and oil paintings, metal artwork and stained-glass.
Bishop Hill Steeple Building
Take a look back in history and visit the Steeple building, built in 1854. Architecturally intriguing it is a three-story stucco Greek Revival structure with a two-story tower and 66 six-over-six windows. It was built to be used as a hotel, but instead was used as a dwelling, school, administration building, and later housed a bank, telephone switchboard and apartments. The museum is home to the Bishop Hill Heritage Asssociation offices. The rooms and exhibit showcase historic artifacts and photos of early Colony days and take visitors back through time to a quaint prairie village. Group tours by appointment, small fee.