Aspley, a residential suburb which grew during the 1970s, lies 12 km north of central Brisbane along Gympie Road. It is crossed by the Cabbage Tree Creek and the Little Cabbage Tree Creek and was originally known by the latter name.
Land sales for small farms in the area began in 1857, and ended in 1866. The suburb takes its name from the property of John Morris, whose allotment was purchased in 1865 and located in Maundrell Terrace near the State school.
The Royal Exchange Hotel in Gympie Road opened in 1875, later providing a general provision shop for local farmers. In addition to the farm community there were bone mills, and several noxious industries along Little Cabbage Tree Creek. Hutton's bacon factory in Zillmere, provided a ready market for Aspley farmers' livestock. Not all local industry was smelly effluvium: a vineyard was situated near Maundrell Terrace during the 1870s-90s and Griffiths Sweets opened a confectionary factory in Gympie Road in 1920.
In 1890 the Little Cabbage Tree school was opened. By then many people were growing tired of the name and by 1897 both the school and the post office were renamed Aspley. During 1910-20 the population increased to over 400. A public hall was opened, and it was felt that dedicated open spaces were needed. George Marchant, a soft drink manufacturer, donated Marchant Park on the south-east corner of Aspley to the local Kedron Shire Council. Church services were held in the hall or in private homes until a non-denominational church was built in 1931.
Situated away from a railway line and beyond the Chermside tram terminus in Gympie Road, Aspley continued as a farm community until the 1950s. In 1952 an early residential subdivision was marketed, with allotments offered at the corner of Gympie and Robinson Roads. A new shopping centre set back for car parking followed, a further sign of the emerging suburban revolution. Within ten years Aspley was promoted as a garden suburb, with mostly single level detached houses, many built in styles established in the southern states. A drive-in theatre opened in 1962 along Albany Creek Road and in 1971 a drive-in supermarket was established. Aspley High, Aspley East primary and a Catholic primary school were opened 1963-64. Within ten years Aspley schools were bulging at the seams, the pressure only relieved when Craigslea State primary school opened in 1972. Craigslea high school opened in 1975.
An enormous Pick 'N Pay Hypermarket was opened in Gympie Road in 1984, its entrance swallowing the site of the old public hall. Between the Hypermarket and Cabbage Tree Creek, on an old bone meal factory site, there is the Aspley Acres caravan park. Meanwhile, new residential subdivisions rolled past Aspley into Carseldine and Bridgeman Downs, and by 1990 the Sunday Sun was opining that Aspley had outgrown first home buyers. In fact it was by then 'old Aspley', as former parts had been hived off as new suburbs.
Aspley's census populations have been:
D.R. Teague, The history of Aspley, Brisbane, Colonial Press, 1972, 1990