Celebrating South Australia


2 March 1840 First Agricultural Show

 2 March 1840   First Agricultural Show

The first competitive Agricultural Exhibition was held at Fordham's Hotel in Grenfell Street on 2 March 1840. Some two years later, on 24 January 1842, a meeting was held to discuss the formation of a permanent Agricultural and Horticultural Society. The Governor, Sir George Grey, became the Patron and the first show of this Society was held on 16 February 1842 in the Schoolroom on North Terrace. The show attracted a large crowd and was said to be 'a most creditable one'.

Two years later in February 1844 the show was held in the parklands towards the eastern end of North Terrace. A pavilion, 100 feet by 40 feet, was erected under old gum trees. Large samples of wheat and other cereals were arranged on two sides. Two rows of tables, each 80 feet long and six feet wide were 'crowded with the rarest and most valuable fruits, vegetables, dairy produce and samples of various colonial manufactures and minerals'. Twelve hundred people attended. Prices for fruits at this time were: 1s 9d - 2s per pound for grapes, while peaches sold for 1s 6d, 2s - 3s per dozen.

James Blacket, History of South Australia , Adelaide, 1911, pp. 128-130