Mingenew Spring was an officially gazetted spring, located within what is now the Mingenew townsite. It is at latitude -29 192⁰, longitude 115 439⁰.
In the 19th century Samuel Pole Phillips had pastoral leases in Mingenew that included land surrounding Mingenew Spring.
The pastoral leases were used mostly for the grazing of cattle. 100 acres surrounding Mingenew Spring was later owned freehold by his son Samuel James Phillips, who in 1891 had it surveyed into 156 town blocks with streets and roads. This was a private subdivision which became the Mingenew townsite.
In 1897 the townspeople of Mingenew were drawing from Mingenew Spring “an ample and pure supply of water all the year round.” For a number of years this had been done with a bucket but in 1896 a pump was installed with money provided by the Government. The pump was reported in The West Australian “to be a great boon to the district.”
At this time there were Chinese cultivating the land around the Mingenew Spring – which was probably the adjoining Lot 267 of Victoria Location 1188 (now the Mingenew Spring Caravan Park).
“I own a tour company called Adventurous Women and I chose Mingenew Springs Caravan Park to accommodate our group in their rooms. Between us we had the single rooms (no-ensuite), single rooms (with ensuite) and The Acacia Room (with en-suite). All rooms were well appointed, clean and comfy.
We had organised ourselves to utilise the camp kitchen / bbq area to cook & sit as a group and it was pouring with rain, so it wasn't going to be pleasant. Carol went out of her way and invited us to use her kitchen & seating area inside the office. She set up the tables with table cloths, put music on and her hubby Brett went home and got their own personal webberque for us to use .. and he then cooked our meat for us. Good old country hospitality ... both Carol & Brett are absolute gems who really made our stay something special. Carol was also a great resource for Wildflowers in the area ... again really, really helpful and went out of her way.
I cannot not thank you both enough, you're kindness was so appreciated.”
Lot 267 was known as “The Garden” in 1908 and was being used by local butcher Henry Herbert.
The rates for the five and a half acres were paid by Herbert but it was at this time still owned by Samuel J. Phillips, who’d had the townsite surveyed some years earlier. He had probably retained ownership as the block would have had value due to its size and its extreme proximity to the town’s water source Mingenew Spring.
Lot 267 was owned by Henry F. Basford by 1919 and during the earlier years of his ownership the block was also used as a garden. Due to the water provided by freshwater springs a number of people in the Mingenew townsite had extensive vegetable gardens. Basford had previously managed Urella Station and worked locally as a stock agent, drover and then vet. From 1925 he provided his veterinary services throughout the North Midlands.
By 1929 water for the townsite was being supplied mostly from Eyregulla Spring and rainwater tanks, but with some still coming from Mingenew Spring. In 1930 the Mingenew Vermin Board employed a man to poison rabbits at three local reserves, one of which was Mingenew Spring.
The Basfords left Mingenew in the 1920s. They retained ownership of their land near Mingenew Spring but during this time its classification in rate books changed from garden to vacant. Lot 267 and other adjoining land was rated variously in the names of Henry F. Basford and his wife Annie until their deaths a month apart in 1946.
The land was then owned by Norman Saggers. He had worked as a butcher in Mingenew and his son Arnold was a butcher in nearby Three Springs. Norman later resided in retirement in Three Springs but after remarrying in 1947 he appears to have shifted back to Mingenew. He owned Lot 267 until his death in 1961.
Unfortunately a bore was drilled west of the reserve in 1981/1982 followed by many others and the water table dropped. Clearing of one block for safety and the other for a caravan park also damaged the area. Work has been done lately by the Tourist & Promotions Committee to turn the area into an inviting park using water as a theme.