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Photographs supplied by Heather Stevens

The plaque, erected at the gravesite by the Warwick Historical Society in 1975, commemorates Patrick Leslie (1815 - 1881) who was the first settler on the Darling Downs in Queensland, where he established the Toolburra station near Warwick.

In 1840 Patrick Leslie started with stock from a New England station, then the most northerly settled district in New South Wales, and squatted Toolburra and Canning Down, the first stations on the Condamine River, before the river had been identified as a tributary of the Darling River. Leslie met explorer Allan Cunningham at the home of Hannibal Hawkins Macarthur in Parramatta. In 1840 Leslie, accompanied by a convict named Peter Murphy, followed in the footsteps of the explorer. On the return trip to Sydney he marked a trail by cutting into the trees. This became known as "Leslie’s marked tree line".

On 2 July 1840, the first head station was established by Walter Leslie at Toolburra. Walter and George Leslie then set about building a residence at Canning Downs. Although the three Leslie brothers claimed all the land to the head of the Condamine, including its tributaries, they were forced to give up most of the claim to new arrivals because of the requirement that all land claimed had to be adequately stocked.

In 1841 Leslie and his wife traveled from Sydney to Brisbane aboard the Hunter River Steam Navigation Company  steamer, Shamrock. They were then counted as the first family to make the journey from Brisbane to the Darling Downs. By 1841 the Leslies had sold their interest in 'Toolburra' and moved to 'Canning Downs' which was managed by George and Walter Leslie. When the Leslies first settled on Canning Downs, they had 6000 sheep, two teams of bullocks and drays, one team of horses and a dray, 10 saddle horses, and 22 convict employees. The task of building up the property during a time of depression proved too difficult and Patrick Leslie was ruined financially by 1844.




Address:West Street, St Thomas Rest Park, Crows Nest, 2065
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.824335
Long: 151.206085
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1975
Front Inscription

This Plaque Is Dedicated To The Memory Of 
Patrick Leslie, The First Settler On The 
Darling Downs, Queensland (Then Part Of
New South Wales). He Established Toolburra 
Station Near Warwick 1840.

Warwick Historical Society 1975.

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