Jamestown, situated in the Clare Valley on Highway 83, was surveyed in 1871 to service the surrounding northern highlands, some of the most productive and reliable farmland in South Australia. Sheep, cereal and legume crops predominate. The sheep sales, held monthly, are the largest in country South Australia.
Jamestown was named after the then Governor of South Australia, Sir James Fergusson, who came from County Ayr in Scotland. The early development of the town is displayed in the many fine wall murals on shops and commercial buildings. Choose from the town tour to see these features, or several interesting self drive tours have been developed.
The National Trust Museum housed in the old Railway Station and Goods Shed features railway artefacts and other district memorabilia. MS McLeod and the South Australian Farmers Union commenced their extensive operations in Jamestown and Both's Iron Lung was invented at nearby Caltowie.
A scenic highlight is Bundaleer Forest, nine kilometres south of the town. The world's first plantation forest, established here in 1876, was where the merits of the famous Radiata Pine were demonstrated. The forest area contains a pleasant picnic ground just off Spalding Road, interesting historical and botanical walks, original forest buildings and the Mawson and Heysen Trails. Dry stone walls built by early stonemasons crawl over the ridges for many kilometres. The forest is also the venue for various cultural and sporting events.