Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bishop Hill


You may remember that I am an old-fashionista, my love sweltering over small everyday objects of the past, tiny daily capsules of history. I am an unabashed antique junkie. Here amongst the rolling countryside (which I love equally) it is even better when one can find old-fashioned reminders in historic towns that remain..yes, whole towns, filled with lost phantoms of tales and ways of so long ago.

My Spiritual Farmer Friend Tamara was kind enough to show me one of these tucked away towns, near her own home, called Bishop Hill. It was one of the earliest Swedish towns that settled into Illinois..one amongst many of the old Swedish settlements that make up part of the Midwest.

Bishop Hill is beyond charming, a world of perfectly preserved historical buildings and wonderful shoppes that offer sights and tastes of a pantheon of goodies.

We started with the   and, as befitting a Vagabond, my breakfast consisted of a German Chocolate cupcake. In case you wondered, calories do not count when you are journeying in the Midwest---the unofficial Vagabond Soujourners book said so.  Tamara had a giant sweet roll and we were kept company by arts, crafts, and colonial decor of the little bakery we dined in.


We next stopped at the local restaurant, right across the street from the bakery, which was surprisingly out of business. I was told that the prioprietress served standard Swedish fare and fine pies, and the establishment was quite popular. Unfortunately, the good lady had a bad round in her personal life and so the place was closed, but it's beauty remains....



From there we passed any number of quaint and lovely scenes and shoppes....

A sweet little old-time garden shoppe's shed....



The outside of the olde Colony merchantile....




The inside of the olde Colony merchantile. Lovely jams, syrups, honeys, crafts, candles, candies, Swedish themes gifts, woodworks and more were featured in this lovely enchanted place...





This is the town's main museum site today, and it's community hall in the past...





A beautiful garden of a Primitive themed store....


Another view...notice the reproduction skep on the far left....this beekeeper was pleased!

We actually stopped and spoke with the sales woman there--once she found out I was teaching beekeeping, I was asked advice on behalf of her husband, on catching a swarm that had settled onto the side of their house. Beekeeping to the rescue!




We went to the little Swedish restaurant and antiques for a bite to eat. This fellow was napping on the front porch.




Inside the restaurant...I wanted to take this home. Alas,  it's part of the decor and not for sale.



At the garden shoppe, a traditional Swedish creche figure...



And beautiful painting on their barn's side doors...



All in all, it was an amazing and educational romp in a  historic time...and a fun adventure. And the adventures would keep coming...

5 comments:

Diane MacNaughtan * Dianie Mac * said...

OMGOSH!!! What a dream vacation,to visit an old quaint town like this!

I love old towns.

Hugs,
~Diane

Zan Asha said...

Thanks Dianie! Yes, it was magical ;)

Faerie Moon Creations said...

I just adore visiting places like this!!!! I guess I am kind of a kindred "old fashionista", too. Thanks for sharing these photos, Zan!

priti.lisa said...

Wow-za Zan! Thanks for sharing all of these photos...The garden was my favorite...or maybe the sleeping kitty :) I love the way the Swedish paint little flowers and designs on their furniture and doors...the Mexican people do too, but with a totally different palette. I love the old beauty and culture too.
♥♥♥

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Oh Zan thanks for sharing all the photos! I've never been to Bishop Hill but now MUST go! You really are going to miss all of us aren't you? It goes both ways friend