Blanchetown was originally surveyed in October 1855 as Blanche Town. It was named after Lady Blanche MacDonnell, the wife of the Governor of South Australia, Sir Richard MacDonnell.
The Blanchetown Bridge is the western-most (and farthest downstream) of the four crossings over the Murray River. During the nineteenth century it was an important transportation centre on the lower Murray. In modern times Blanchetown has been described as ďa strange mixture of historic buildings and temporary shacks built by holidaymakers on the banks of the river".Blanchetown is widely regarded as the entrance to the Riverland citrus district.
Lock 1 on the Murray River is at Blanchetown. It was the first of the 13 locks and weirs built on the Murray, and were completed in 1922. The lock chamber is approximately 56 feet by 275 feet (17 by 83 metres). The original purpose was to facilitate navigation for trade along the Murray, but by the time the weirs had been built, trade was declining. The primary purposes now are for recreational boating and to maintain water levels for irrigation.
Should the traveler be on the Sturt Highway a look at the Number 1 Lock has merit.