The great-grandson of a past prominent Raymond Terrace businessman, Lot Bishop, made a surprise visit to the town's historical society in July to see how his family's legacy has been preserved.
Lake Macquarie resident Jeffrey Bishop visited Raymond Terrace and District Historical Society on July 24 to see the certificate and medallion his great-grandfather collected at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, commonly known as the World's Fair, in Chicago for the freestone mined from his Boomerang Park quarry.
Lot Bishop's quarry, named Muree, was located in Kangaroo Street, at the western end of the historical park. It was one of two operating in Boomerang Park in the 1800s.
The park's quarries produced much of the stone used for construction in Raymond Terrace from the 1830s.
Lot Bishop constructed his own home using stone from the Muree quarry. It was also used to construct St John's Church, the Rectory, Tomago House and other distinguished buildings in Raymond Terrace.
Freestone mined from Muree also won the Queen Victoria Medal at the 1887 International Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition. The historical society also possess this medal, which Mr Bishop admired during his visit to Raymond Terrace with wife Marie.
At the 1893 World's Fair, the award for "strength, durability and good colour of a block of light brown colour" was presented to 'L. Bishop, New South Wales' in the exhibit category of Freestone. The award was presented with a medallion that bore the inscription L. Bishop.
The Raymond Terrace historical society has one of three certificates awarded at the 1893 fair that are known to exist. Most of the certificates were burned in 1906 when San Francisco was rocked by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake which caused widespread fires.
Another certificate, awarded for top quality glass, is known to be in Italy. A third, for top quality merino fleece, is located on the south coast of NSW.
In 2017, Cherylanne Bailey of Port Stephens Council discovered Lot Bishop's framed World's Fair certificate and saved it from being scrapped. She presented it to the historical society for preservation.
After his meeting with historical members in the research rooms on July 24, the next day Mr and Mrs Bishop joined them at Sketchley Pioneer Cottage and Museum to see medals and photos relating to Lot Bishop and the Bishop family, which are on display.
Mr Bishop said he has memories of visiting his grandmother in a house call Muree Cottage, which had been located opposite of the Pioneer Hill Cemetery on the edge of Boomerang Park.
A photo of Lot Bishop and his family is on display at the cottage, which is open on the fourth Sunday of the month between 10am and 2pm.
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