Located in the northwestern Pacific, Bishop’s Island thrives on its logging and fishing trade. Six generations have resided there since its settlement in the late nineteenth century, comprised mainly of five families whose descendants remain prominent across the island. Intertwining in their daily lives, these families have been part of both the great successes and the irreversible tragedies of the island’s history.
The largest of the five cities, Chapel Port functions the same as any major city and offers opportunity in several trades and industries. To its northeast is Wicker Bay, a coastal fishing village and the second most highly populated town on the island. Harvest Cove is the northernmost town and sparsely populated despite being a rich industrial area. The most richly forested region of the island rests between the borders of Jacoby Fields and is home to two independent logging companies. Galilee, a historic light house community, is the smallest town on the island and preserves a way of life first established during the early settlement.
Beneath the quaint settings and thriving commerce, the island is home to a much darker and deeper lore. Drenched in mythology since its origins, Bishop’s Island has been plagued by legends and lore. With an alarming rate of both missing persons and unexplained deaths, the locals have fed their suspicions and need for closure with their own brand of horror stories and urban legends. But as with every legend, there are real stories at the very root of them. There are also a small percentage of citizens who remain behind the scenes to fight the sources behind such stories.
THE FIRST EPOCH (1873-1888)
The first fifteen years of settlement on Bishop’s Island (then Bishop’s Isle) ended the reign of terror that began under Nathaniel Bishop, patriarch of the island. Aided by cattleman Laurel Jacoby, Bishop sought to destroy every church on the island and to build an empire through enslavement and thievery. After the assassination of Sheriff Remus Archer, the terrified citizens turned to the younger brother of the fallen lawman, Uzziah. A preacher and Civil War veteran who had been left for dead by Jacoby, Uzziah was nursed back to health by a former slave family.
When whispers of his survival reached saloon moll Carolyne Flynn, she joined forces with Uzziah and, with the backing of Judge Abraham Rocard, set out to overthrow Bishop and end his tyranny. Abandoned by his henchman Jacoby, Bishop was forced to face Archer alone as the citizens of the island gathered to watch the final showdown. A victorious Archer ended the first epoch and went on to become Sheriff of the island. It was rumored that a great romance between he and Carolyne Flynn began in those years and their story, along with the disappearance of Nathaniel Bishop’s gold, turned the names of these five houses into legends!
THE SECOND EPOCH (1889-1923)
Though the specific details of this epoch have not yet been revealed, the period was ended by the Bishopville Street War.
THE THIRD EPOCH (1924-1946)
Though the specific details of this epoch have not yet been revealed, the period was ended by the flooding of Galilee and the murder of a descendant of one of the Five Houses that split a bloodline.
THE FOURTH EPOCH (1947-1985)
This epoch ended with the collapse of Hollis Bridge, which spanned the Pacific between Chapel Port and Adrien’s Chain. Forty-two lives were lost. Further details regarding this event were told in Pursuit: A Tale of Bishop’s Island.
THE FIFTH EPOCH (1986- )
This era showcases the fifth generation of descendants of the Five Houses. Pastor Eric Kade, from the House of Jacoby, and Nickel Warren were featured in the novel Homecoming. Historian Aryn Rayburn, from the House of Rocard, and her husband, Ryan, were featured in the novel Pursuit: A Tale of Bishop’s Island. Along the way, they cross paths with descendants of the House of Bishop and the House of Flynn. The lives of these characters will continue to overlap with each novel along with the unraveling mystery behind the identity of the last living heir of the House of Archer.
NATHANIEL BISHOP (1836-1888)
An Australian merchant, Bishop came to the United States at the height of the Civil War, where he served as a broker to Union forces. He settled and named Bishop’s Island before bringing in ships loaded with peasants to colonize the island. Connected to the disappearance of gold, Bishop’s power and connections made him exempt from capture. Ruling the island as a tyrant, Bishop imprisoned all who spoke out against him and used a band of mercenaries to oversee the citizens.
In the late 1880s, Bishop started a personal crusade by burning all of the churches on the Island. Eliminating local law, he tightened his reign and posted gunmen around the perimeter of the island to keep people from leaving. Turning the island into a prison colony, he had no opposition until a former soldier and preacher rose to defend the island’s citizens. Dying on the island he built, Bishop was burned at sea but the gold was not recovered for many years.
OLESIA KACZANEK (1853-1887)
Mysteriously appearing in Harvest Cove, Olesia has connections that span the generations of the island’s citizens. Her influence will prove pivotal to Eric Kade and his battle against The Progeny. She will be the source of a combination of events that solidify Eric’s mission and give new purpose to Malcolm Fisk.
ARTHUR ROCARD (1922-1985)
One of the island’s first newspaper men, Arthur built his career on reporting stories that made the legends of the island thrive. For more than thirty years, Arthur remained connected to the power players in both the forefront and behind the scenes. His information contributed to keeping the unknowing safe and the hunters who have protected those people alive, all the while securing a deeply-rooted connection to Eric Kade. Arthur lost his life in the collapse of Hollis Bridge on May 8, 1986, one day after the birth of his granddaughter, Aryn Greger-Rayburn.