Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

What a wonderful weekend we had visiting our son and daughter in law in Illinois.  On Saturday, they took us to a little town called "Bishop Hill."  What a wonderful little place to visit!  The above photo shows the main street.  Here's a bit of information about the area:
In 1846, a group of Swedish immigrants seeking religious freedom left their native land under the guidance of their charismatic spiritual leader, Erik Jansson. The site for their new utopia, later called Bishop Hill, was described to them as a “land of plenty, brimming with milk and honey,” and they struggled to make it so. These Janssonists built a successful communal society based on economic and religious principles. Many of the structures erected during this building campaign still exist. The colony grew and flourished for fifteen years before disbanding in 1861.
Today Bishop Hill is a quiet country village where the charm and character of the original colony has survived the test of time. Bishop Hill is a National Landmark Village, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and it is an Illinois State Historic Site.
Join us! We invite you to taste the history of this once-bustling 19th century settlement. Sample our fascinating museums, quaint eateries, unique gift shops, and art galleries.  Spend hours or days here with family and friends. (from Wikipedia)

One of our favorite places in Bishop Hill, was this little bakery.  Oh, what wonderful baked goods you could find there!  Their pumpkin cream muffins were out of this world!!  But besides baked goods, there were even trinkets and antiques to be found.  Loved it!

 The above shop has pottery, quilts, artwork, knitting, yarn, rugs, jewelry and many other items!  I could have spend hours in there!  But I only came out with a small piece of pottery.  One of my weaknesses.  LOL  There were a LOT more little shops there to look through.  And yes, you could stay all day.  They even have lodging.  Check it out!!  Here is the website: 

From there we headed northwest to the town of Le Claire, Iowa.  Ever heard of it??  You may have, if you watch the TV show, "American Pickers."  It's the home base of the show.  The building on the left in the photo below, is the building in Le Claire.

The show follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they travel around the greater Midwestern United States as well as the eastern and southern U.S. in a Mercedes Sprinter, buying antiques and collectibles.They work with Danielle Colby-Cushman, who runs the office of their business, Antique Archeology, from their home base in Le Claire, Iowa. While Danielle researches potential leads, Mike and Frank attempt to track down potential sellers on the road.
Wolfe and Fritz explore people's homes, barns, sheds, and other outbuildings, and other places where they have collected antiques and collectibles. They call upon casual collectors, hoarders and, occasionally, people who have inherited overwhelming collections of apparent junk.. Wolfe, who has been "picking" since age four,  has a particular interest in antique motorcycles, old bicycles and penny-farthings, while Fritz has a fondness for antique toys, antique oil cans,   and old Hondas.  They have purchased old advertisements  and commercial signage, film posters,  a rare 15-gallon visible gasoline pump,  and a Piaggio Ape  (pron. ah-peh) that one of their friends told them is probably the only one of its kind in North America.  (from Wikipedia)
We watched an episode the night before we went and they had picked up a metal sign that said "spinners" on it, as well as, a VW sign.  We saw them both hanging in the shop.  Pretty cool!  I was surprised at how small the building is.  But it was fun, and now I can say I've been there.

We did check out some other antique shops and gift shops while there too.  If you get the chance, take a trip out there.  Both places are so fun to see!


  1. How cool!! :-) And when does this antiques and collectibles show come on? I've never even heard of it! I love shows like that. {I'm secretly expecting that one day I'm gonna see something that I own displayed as a long lost find worth 2 million dollars...at least!! LOL...Good post Cin! I'm glad you finally was able to get it up! :-)

  2. Deb, it's on the History channel. I'm not sure what night, since I don't usually watch it. My son loves it, so we watched it at his house.
    Thanks so much for your nice comment! I appreciate it!


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