What traditions grow in your backyard?
The first documented broom maker of the Swedish Colony of Bishop Hill is Olof Broline, born in Sweden in 1829. Broom Corn (a type of Sorghum) produces the fibers used in a traditional broom. Bishop Hill cultivated Broom Corn for much of its history, and the broom making tradition continues today.
Frank Davison coaches his granddaughter Angelique as she threads a double ended needle through the broom, taking care to keep the sharp end firmly in the metal cup of her hand cuffs. “You always go in underneath and you always come out on top. You need 3/8th of an inch between stitches.” He is proud of her and her father’s interest in brooms: “So right here you have three generations in brooms. Broom making used to mean an awful lot to Bishop Hill. That’s the reason that I want to do brooms. There should be a broom maker here… and there is, now.”