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Bishop Hill Celebrates Spring!

The historic site of Bishop Hill will begin the 2017 season with kick-off activities on Saturday, April 1.

This is the weekend when we say goodbye to a long winter and get out and enjoy everything anew.

Shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums will be open for the season and will offer delights certain to be crowd pleasers.

Check out the following Spring Jubilee activities:

  • Join the Vasa National Archives and Museum for an opening reception from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. forBsihop Hill Store their new exhibit. This exhibit will display Swedish and Swedish American handicrafts, art, and the rise of the handcraft (sjöld) movement in Sweden. Light refreshments are available throughout the day.
  • Garden Thyme will be hosting a Spring Birdhouse Gourd Workshop.  Folks can paint a gourd for the birds to enjoy in their gardens. The fee is $25 and includes the gourd and all paint supplies. Call 309 373-5314 to sign up for this workshop.
  • The Bishop Hill Museum will be providing bird nesting materials for people to put in their yards.  The museum is located at 304 South Bishop Hill Street.
  • The Colony Store will be having children activities.  A reading area will be set up for children to read books or be read to, and in addition, there will be origami demonstrations.
  • Beginning at 10 a.m. there will be a Toy Tractor Weekend in the Steeple Building Museum. A large variety of John Deere, Case, and International Harvester toy tractors and farm implements will be on display and for sale.  Call 309 927-3899 for more details. 

Mark your calendar for these other upcoming April events in Bishop Hill. On April 22 at the Dairy Building, there will be a scholarly program about The Humor of Abraham Lincoln. Also, on April 22, there will be the Swedish Stomp, a 5K run, and Skamperoo for the kids. On April 28, the Vasa National Archives will be hosting their annual Valborg Bonfire and Weiner Roast.

Bring the whole family and help celebrate Swedish culture and heritage in Bishop Hill, Illinois. Pick up your 2017 Visitor’s Guide to help with your plans for attending all of the season’s events and activities. Visit http://bishophill.com for further information or call 309 927-3899.


Become A Master Gardener...

Share your love of gardening and nature when you become a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener.

Enroll now to participate in our renowned training program taking place in Galva on Tuesdays 9 am - 4 pm, January 24 - April 4, 2017!

You'll be part of our team that volunteers on horticulture related community projects.

The training sessions are hosted by Extension staff and include hands on activities.

All classes are taught by University of Illinois Extension educators via live webinar.

This year's training will be held at the University of Illinois Extension 358 Front Street Galva, IL 61434


Classes are 9 am - 4 pm which includes Morning Break, Afternoon Break, and an hour lunch (12-1)

  • January 24 - Botany & Orientation
  • January 31 – Insects
  • February 7- Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
  • February 14 - Soils
  • February 21 - Annuals and Perennials
  • February 28 – Lawns
  • March 7 - Diseases and Diagnosis
  • March 14 - Wildlife & Organic Gardening and Composting
  • March 21 - Vegetables
  • March 28 - Fruits
  • April 4 - Integrated Pest Management & MG volunteering

The cost for the training is $225 and includes a comprehensive horticulture textbook. You will receive a $50 refund once your internship is completed for a $175 cost to become initially certified. Classes take place on Tuesdays at the Galva Extension office located at 358 Front Street. For further questions contact Tracy Jo Mulliken at tmully@illinois.edu


For more information, visit the Extension's Facebook Page


Murray Announces Completion of Falk Bust...

Like the rest of Galva, Jordan Murray is a Rich Falk fan and has tracked the gentleman-athlete's exploits since watching him practice basketball in Wiley Park. The following is from a draft of a forthcoming brochure about Galva's superstar as envisioned by our artist emeritus, Jordan Murray, and which will accompany the release of his tribute maquette of Mr. Falk. The maquette, which awaits finishing touches by the master and a fundraising to complete, is the fourth in a line of bronze tributes which Murray calls his "Heroes of Galva" series:


"Born to Don and Charlotte Falk of Bishop Hill, Rich was an honor student and was constantly practicing basketball. I remember his practicing basketball in Wiley Park while he was a junior at Galva High and I was only in the 6th grade at Lincoln. He was remarkable as he was a star not only in basketball but as a quarterback in football and as an athlete in track. He was named to the second string western Illinois all-conference football team. Nonetheless, his shining glory was in basketball."


Murray continues: "Even in his sophomore year he scored 421 points, scored 637 points as a junior but in his senior year in 1959-60, he put up 833 points in 28 games for an average of 29.7 points per game. A remarkable feat as there wasn't a 3-point shot back then!"


Jordan works on Falk


Murray's clay study of Falk stands about 22" high and will be cast in bronze with a 1/4" wall. When finished, the tribute will weigh about 50 pounds. Murray notes that Rich Falk was much admired for his six foot muscular frame and while in Galva sported a widows-peak hair line and flat top hair style that did nothing but add to his signature clean-cut image. Naturally, Murray's tribute will have Falk sporting his Galva basketball jersey, and as you will note below, the bronze is supported by a hand-crafted custom base.


Murray and Falk


Murray's finished work is now on display at City Hall. Click on either of the images below for a larger version.


a closeup of the finished bust

closeup of falk


the finished bust

finished falk bust


Many thanks to all of the classmates, friends, acquaintances and admirers without whose donations this tribute would not have been possible.