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From Swedish Milk Maids to Swedish Artists: Bishop Hill's Dairy Building 160 Years Later

A building that once supplied dairy products for all of Bishop Hill is now serving a new purpose. Tomorrow, the Bishop Hill Heritage Association will rededicate the pre-Civil War Dairy Building, which is now a space for conferences, concerts, and an art studio. 

Administrator Todd DeDecker says the two-story Dairy Building was built in 1855, and provided the small, Swedish colony with butter, cream, and other milk products. 
For nearly three years, the Heritage Association has repaired the interior and exterior of the building, using the original bricks and wood. The $130,000 project has helped transform part of the building into a conference area, for meetings and Swedish concerts.

He says artists have appreciated the intimate setting and good acoustics.

DeDecker says the other part of the building includes an art studio, where the Heritage Association will begin an artist-in-residence program. 

The Bishop Hill Heritage Association will hold a rededication ceremony tomorrow from 3 to 6 pm, at the Dairy Building. The event includes tours, speeches from donors and supporters, a skit, and refreshments.