Friday 26 August 2011

Land History: Mingenew Spring Caravan Park

We recently had a request on Facebook asking if we had any information about the history of the land that is now the Mingenew Spring Caravan Park, in the Mingenew townsite. Mingenew is a bit out of our geographical area and we knew nothing – but a bit of digging has turned this around.

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).

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.

We hope this provides some insight into the history of the land that after Saggers ownership became the Mingenew Spring Caravan Park. Now that it’s on our radar I’m sure we’ll discover more info in the future.

For information at staying at the Mingenew Spring Caravan Park, check out their website at

History of Country Town Names” by Landgate, n.d. Retrieved 24 August 2011 from Landgate:

Place Names Search: Mingenew Spring” by Geoscience Australia, 2004. Retrieved 25 August 2011 from Geoscience Australia:

Shire of Mingenew Local Planning Strategy, 2006, page 17. Retrieved 24 August 2011 from the Shire of Mingenew:

“The Governor’s Tour – The Geraldton Trip” from The West Australian newspaper, 1 September 1897, page 5. Retrieved 24 August 2011 from Trove:

“The Governor’s Northern Trip – To The Editor” from The West Australian newspaper, 9 September 1897, page 6. Retrieved 24 August 2011 from Trove:

“In And Around Mingenew: A Flourishing District” from The Geraldton Guardian newspaper, 23 December 1926, page 29S. Retrieved 27 August 2011 from Trove:

“Mingenew – A Prosperous District” from The Western Mail newspaper, 3 January 1929, page 49. Retrieved 24 August 2011 from Trove:

“Mingenew Vermin Board – Rabbit Destruction” from The Geraldton Guardian and Express newspaper, 25 January 1930, page 3. Retrieved 24 August 2011 from Trove:

Rate Books” by the Upper Irwin Road Board / Mingenew Road Board (1908-1961) courtesy of the Shire of Mingenew and the State Records Office of Western Australia.

1 comment:

Andrew Bowman-Bright said...

Carol Farr of Mingenew, who made the request for information on the land, was told it once contained a shearing shed. If anyone has any further information please let us know by commenting here, on our Facebook page or with an e-mail to