The Western Springs community is a vibrant place with many historical building and landmarks which can be dated back to the 1800s.
Old Mill Road runs at the rear of Western Springs and is named after the successful flour mill that operated between 1846 and 1875. William Motion and his business partner Joseph Low investigated various streams around Auckland for their flour mill, and found the best source of water to be at Western Springs. Over the next two decades the plant expanded into a massive operation, harvesting its own wheat on neighbouring sites, as well as shipping it in from nearby Tāmaki.
When the Auckland City Council identified Western Springs as the best source of water to supply the city, they had to buy the mill and surrounding land from Mr Motion.
During the South Island gold rush in of the 1860s many Chinese migrants from Southern China, came to New Zealand alone and lived here for years, while sending money back to wives and families at home.
After the goldrush, many put their old skills to use, growing fruit and vegetables that were always in demand. These migrants often leased land from Mäori and worked alongside them.
The living they made a modest living their numbers were relatively low, though anti-Chinese discrimination was rife during this period in New Zealand's. It wasn't until after World War II, that China's fight against the Japanese turned the wider New Zealand public's opinion in favour of the Chinese. Their role in market gardening was recognised as beneficial to the New Zealand economy and has expanded throughout New Zealand. Market gardening has moved out of the Western Springs area.