Fairfield, a residential suburb, is 4.5 km south of central Brisbane. It was probably named after the property settled by W.D. Grimes, c1850, south of Dutton Park. A considerable part of the property consisted of wetland and lagoons, and was used for dairying.
The Grimes family established a Baptist church in 1865 on land which they donated. The church ministered to rural families, and the next significant civic improvement was the Corinda to Stanley Street railway line (1884) through Fairfield, along with a local post office.
Early residential subdivisions clustered along the west side of the ridge along which the railway ran. Fairfield Road encountered wetlands west of the station, identifiable now by O'Grady and Robinson Parks. A swamp west of Forsyth Street was filled for a large parkland and ovals (1960s) which are partly in Yeronga. The land had once been earmarked for a new market which was instead built at Rocklea.
Fairfield Road acquired a few stores and mixed businesses, and an animal refuge was founded by Mrs J. Weinholt in 1924 at the corner of Fairfield and Venner Roads. Fairfield's housing grew during the 1930s and by the early postwar years its spread was denoted by the mixed businesses and corner stores in Lang Street, Denham Street, Byrnes Street, Ashby Street and Sunbeam Street. Most shops and tradespeople were along Fairfield Road, and in 1987 the location was confirmed as a local shopping centre with the opening of Fairfield Gardens with a supermarket and 36 other shops.
The former swamp areas of Fairfield proved to be efficient waterways in January 2011, conveying flood waters into Fairfield Gardens shopping centre and into houses around Fairview Park. Many houses south of the South Brisbane cemetery, between the river and Fairfield Road were also flooded.
Fairfield's census populations have been: