Ebenezer Shoobridge (1820 – 1901) purchased in 1860, “Bushy Park” 2,000 acres, in the district of Humphreyville, named after A.W.H Humphrey, the original owner. Hop Growing had been Ebenezer’s father’s business in England so he introduced hops and fruit growing; grain, root crops and a dairy. The hops thrived so Ebenezer and his son Robert put in extensive brick kilns for processing them.
In 1865 the foundation was laid for the large brick building known as the Text Kiln – which still stands today. It was completed in 1867. On the exterior wall engraved in sandstone are biblical scripts, hence its name.
A Strawberry Feast was given by the Shoobridge’s every December from 1865 for their friends and employees. It started in an old barn but moved to the Text Kiln when it was completed. This event was the very beginnings of the Bushy Park Show as sections for flowers, fruit, vegetables, cookery and children’s exhibits were introduced. One Strawberry Festival was highlighted by a demonstration of the first telephone call in the district – made between the homestead and the Text Kiln.
Later the event moved to the large State School room at Glenora (site of the current school) and was held on Easter Monday with fruit the outstanding feature.
The Show lapsed for a couple of years, but recommenced on New Year’s Day at the site now known as the Bushy Park Showground continuing on this day for over 120 years.
In 2003, the Show date was altered to February. This change was brought about by site holders/exhibitors reluctance to come on New Year’s Day; as well as decreasing attendance due in part to the “Taste of Tasmania” and other festivities surrounding the arrival of yachts in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Since 2003, the date is set as the Saturday following the Hobart Regatta.