Donald & Christina McLeanPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Denis Binnion

The plaque commemorates Donald and Christina McLean, and their family who grew the first wheat crop in South Australia.

Mr. McLean, his wife, and family of five sons and five daughters arrived in the Navarino in 1837, landing at Holdfast Bay. There were no houses in South Australia at that time and Governor Hindmarsh was living in a reed hut on the banks of the Torrens. Mr. McLean, soon after landing, sent his son to Tasmania for supplies, and he returned with bullocks, horses and drays, and also seed, wheat, etc. Mr. McLean brought his land order no 454 from England. This entitled him to an eighty acre section of land near Adelaide. As this land had not been surveyed he had to wait until the sixth of June, 1838, for a land meeting held for eighty acre section at Adelaide. Mr. McLean had twelfth choice - section chosen - no. 50. Mr. McLean's sons Allan and John lost no time in yoking the bullocks to the plough, which they had brought with them, and put in twenty acres of wheat, on section no. 50 where a good crop was hand reaped towards the end of 1838. It was on this section that Mr. McLean built his house. This has always been acknowledged as the very first wheat grown in South Australia; in fact it has never been disputed although it appeared repeatedly in the Adelaide newspapers.

Mr. McLean was also one of the first to purchase large holdings around Strathalbyn also on the Angas and Bremer Rivers and on the frontage of Lake Alexandrina, including Mundoo Island
The old two storey homestead and outbuildings are still standing, adjoining the River Angas, near Strathalbyn. The late Mr. Donald McLean passed away in his 85th year. The two sons, Allan and John, who really did the cropping of the very first wheat grown in South Australia on their father's land, passed away, one over 90 years and the other a little under 90 years of age. 
Above notes supplied by members of the McLean family.
From information supplied by the West Torrens Historical Society.


Address:South Terrace & Rankin Street, Strathalbyn, 5255
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.260086
Long: 138.893157
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1997
Front Inscription

To the memory of Donald and Christina McLean and family who grew the first wheat crop in South Australia.

They planted 20 acres on Block 50 at Hilton now Marleston in 1838. 

Early in the 1840s they took up land in the Strathalbyn District

Erected by Strathalbyn National Trust



Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au