During the early history of the area, Bowen Hills became a farm where experimental planting of rice was undertaken unsuccessfully. From the 1880s on, the area was sub-divided and closer settlement took place, including the development of industry.
In 1883 the tramline was extended to the Breakfast Creek Bridge and the Exhibition Building on the corner of Gregory Terrace. The first tram to the area ran in 1885.
Bowen Hills continued to develop as a mix of residential and light industrial areas. Significant new features included the development of the Mayne Railway Yard in 1911, which necessitated the purchase of forty-eight acres [19.4 hectares] of land and extensive levelling of the hillside at Albert Park, and Mayne and Abbotsford roads.
The old museum building on the corner of Bowen Bridge Road and Gregory Terrace was designed and built as an exhibition hall in 1891 and later converted to a museum. The building is now protected by heritage legislation.
‘Miegunyah’ is the home of the Queensland Women’s Historical Association. William Perry, who was a successful ironmonger and merchant, originally built ‘Miegunyah’ in 1885. In 1967 the Queensland Women’s Historical Association bought the building, saving it from demolition.