Although farming is the main activity in the shire, the town is also supported by the largest talc mine in the southern hemisphere (second largest in
the world) with an annual output of around 240,000 tons. The talc was discovered in the 1840s by a farmer sinking bores. Originally it was collected by
underground mining but this method was both inefficient and dangerous. Today mining is done by the open cut method.
Talc is used in paper, paint and ceramic industries and is also processed in W.A. for cosmetics, agriculture use and carving blocks.
The town has a short stay (3 night limit) caravan facility and you can contact the Visitor Centre for more information.
The first explorers to pass through the area were the
in 1846. (Another source quotes
as being the first to pass through the area in 1839 but he travelled close to the coast and did not come close to where the town site developed.)
The Cooke family took up land in the area in 1850 but the townsite was not gazetted until 1867.
took up a lease in 1852 but it lapsed a year later suggesting that it had not been used. He took up land again in 1858 and used the
new lease to graze cattle.
There seems to be some doubt about who named the area with some sources crediting explorer
John Forrest with naming the town in
1872 and putting the note "The Three Springs" on Victoria Location 482 in his field book. Other sources say that although Forrest surveyed the area it was
who first recorded the name Three Springs when he camped there in 1867. The Aboriginal name for the area was Carridena.
'With the opening of the Midland Railway in 1885 Three Springs Station was also constructed. In 1908* a townsite called Kadathinni was
declared next to the railway but because the station name remained unchanged the local people still referred to it as Three Springs.
Finally in 1946 this was officially recognised and the townsite was re-named Three Springs to match the railway station.'
(* Another source says the station was built in 1906 and yet another says 1913-14 - this is a good example of not accepting the first thing you
read as being factual. It is likely that a siding was completed in 1906, some out buildings were added in 1908, the siding was upgraded to a station
in 1910 and finally a proper station was built in 1913.).
By 1897 the Midland to Walkaway railway linked up 5 miles south of the townsite but trains did not stop there. Goods were simply pushed off the
train and if poorly packed would scatter along the rail line.
Some of the shire was used for farming by those living in districts north and south but it was in 1906 when the first land in the Three Springs
district was made available for selection. Walter Browning, John A. Richardson, Charles F. Thomas, Reuben Carter, Ernest T. C. Klopper, Henry K.
Maley, and Solomon S. Maley were the first to take up land and Reuben Carter was the first to settle on the land. (Railway workers had already
been settled in the townsite by this time.)
Copper was discovered in 1907 and some was mined but the source quickly ran out and mining quickly ceased. It is estimated that the mine produced
106 tons of copper during its working life.
In 1908 the first progress association was formed.
Electric lights were established in the town as early as 1929 but it wasn’t until 1936 that the lights were turned on every night until 11pm
(midnight on Saturdays).
Initial efforts to establish a Road Board were met with hostility and resistance from Carnamah
and Mingenew but in 1928 permission was finally given
and board members elected the following year. In 1936 the Road Board was dissolved after a dispute over payment of bore drilling fees led several
board members to resign. It was several months before an new board was elected.
Read more about the history of Three Springs.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Hotel, Road Board office.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Yarra Yarra Lake, Blue Waters, Pink Lake, Talc mine, Wildflower drive, Heritage trail, Cockatoo Canyon, Mica Mine Thicket.
State : Moore
Federal : Durack
Postcode : 6519
Local Government : Shire of Three Springs
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