Jenny Lind Chapel
Landmark of Pioneer Faith
The Chapel and museum are open every day, 9 am to 5 pm, April through October. Both are air conditioned, for your comfort and to help preserve the artifacts. A 5-minute narrated slideshow about the history of the Chapel may be viewed on the iPad located on the desk in the museum.
The Chapel cemetery tombstone inscriptions are now digital.
"More Fun on 81" Festival
Reformation Anniversary Service
47th Annual Joy of Christmas with
Community Candlelight Christmas Eve
Julotta - early Christmas morning service at Augustana Church
Jenny Lind Chapel and Museum Visitor Survey
Please, if you have visited the Jenny Lind Chapel and/or the museum housed on the chapel's lower level, at any time, kindly fill out this 16 question survey that should take approximately 5-10 minutes of your time. Thank you for your time and input.
This project is conducted in collaboration with Lisa Huntsha, part-time curator of the museum and the Jenny Lind Chapel Operating Board. This project is funded by a 2015 grant from the Swedish Council of America.
New Tree Planted
The family of Pastor Albert David Lestor planted a purple prince crabapple tree in his memory in the front lawn of the Chapel on May 31, 2016. Here are photos from the event.
The Jenny Lind Chapel is a memorial to Swedish settlers who came to America in 1849 to found a branch of the Swedish Lutheran Church under the leadership of Pastor Lars Paul Esbjörn. He later became the first president of Augustana College.
It was a struggle for these pioneers to fund and build this chapel. The congregation grew and in 1870 they built a new church in Andover. The chapel was given its name in 1948 as it was presented to the Augustana Synod.
The Jenny Lind Chapel became the mother church for hundreds of other churches of the Augustana Lutheran Church in America. This church body merged into the Lutheran Church in America in 1962 and is now a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The Chapel is owned by the Northern Illinois Synod (ELCA).
The Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places. It houses a museum that offers exhibits of the early immigrant experience as well as audio and video presentations. The cemetery adjacent to the Chapel is the resting place of the faithful including Jonas Swensson, the second president of the Augustana Synod. During the year the Chapel is visited not only by Swedes but also by people of many other nationalities interested in the immigration experience.
The Chapel hosts special events throughout the year including the annual Founders Day service in April, Sunday evening vespers at 7:00 pm during June, July and August, the Swedish Högmässa service in September, and the "Joy of Christmas" service. Call Augustana Lutheran Church at 309-521-8127 for current schedule information.