James McLean and Family

James McLean was born on May 1, 1874 on the family farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario. His parents Neil and Flora McLean were both immigrants from Scotland.

James married Elizabeth McCollom on August 31, 1901 in Hamilton, Ontario.

He received a degree of Associate in Agriculture from the Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph in 1902.

In 1904 he came west and filed for two quarters of land near Zealandia, one for himself and one for his father, at the same time he also purchased an additional quarter. (Blind Baggage story)

In 1905, he brought his family west, to Saskatoon, where Elizabeth stayed with Nellie (born in 1903 in Ontario) while James went to the farmstead to build a sod house for his family. When it was ready Elizabeth and Nellie came with horse and buggy from Saskatoon.

In 1906 Flora was born, with James assisting with the birth. Neil came along in 1909. To accommodate his growing family James added a living room and two bedrooms to the sod house. The sod house was whitewashed on the inside, and had a wooden ceiling and wooden floor. 1905 to 1913 were good years at the farm, with abundant crops of wheat and oats.

In front of the sod house, 1911. Seated James, Nellie, Neil, Elizabeth and Flora.

In 1913 James McLean was asked to be the Superintendent of the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station and the family moved to the newly built red brick two storey house at the centre of the Nursery Station.
James McLean laid out the grounds following a plan designed by Norman Ross of the Indian Head Nursery.

Jimmy was born in the red brick house in 1918, he died in 1926 as a result of contracting scarlet fever.

James McLean, Neil, Flora, Nellie and Elizabeth, with Jimmy in front, c. 1920

James McLean stayed on as Superintendent till his retirement in 1942. At which time the McLeans moved to Sutherland. James passed away in 1952 and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Photo credit: Barbara Grest Jones