Kenmore, a residential suburb, is 11 km south-west of central Brisbane. Situated on the Brisbane River at the Centenary Bridge, it extends west from the Centenary Highway to Moggill Creek.
It was named after Kenmore Park, a property in Gilruth Road, where Andrew Todd built a homestead and farm buildings during the early 1880s. Todd donated land for the Kenmore Presbyterian church (1885) near the corner of Kenmore and Moggill Roads. It is thought that Todd named his property after Kenmore, Perthshire, Scotland, but he never lived there. At one time he lived in Glasgow where there was a Kenmure House, which may supply the connection.
A post office was opened in 1887 and a State primary school began in 1900. The school remained a one-teacher rural facility until 1959 when urbanisation was underway. Kenmore's farming community grew fruit, vegetables, dairy produce and piggeries. The post office directory of 1918 recorded about 30 farmers, a grocer, a butcher and a blacksmith.
Along Moggill Road, across Moggill Creek in today's Pinjarra Hills, the Kenmore Sanitorium and repatriation hospital was opened in 1945. Continuing until 1994, it was converted to an RSL aged care home. For at least ten years after the sanatorium opened Kenmore was a hilly rural retreat. By 1960 the population approached 2000 people: the Moggill Road shopping centre had new shops and banks, the woodland was dotted with modern houses, and dairy cattle had only a few years of road-side grazing ahead of them. A Catholic primary school was opened in 1961 and Kenmore South primary school started in 1967. The high school was opened in 1972. In 1969 a drive-in shopping centre, Kenmore Village, opened in Moggill opposite the school with a Coles New World space-rocket sign. Refurbished and extended in each succeeding decade, there were 61 shops by 2000. Kenmore Tavern Plaza shops to the east were opened in 1986.
In 1968 the Presbyterian congregation built Queensland's building of the year in Moggill Road, a radically modern contrast to the steepled weatherboard church on Todd's land.
Almost from the beginning of its residential settlement in the 1960s, Kenmore was regarded as 'the status suburb of Brisbane'. Its reputation continued unaltered - a leafy suburb, vying with Hamilton (2004). Gem Road, running south to the Brisbane River, is nominated among the top addresses. Kenmore Tavern Plaza, opposed in the 1980s as a bit downmarket, was converted to a cafe and restaurant culture in 2003-05.
In January 2011 Kenmore was invaded by the Brisbane River along the predicted low-lying parklands: Kingfisher Park, the shoreline both sides of the Centenary Bridge, and Cubberla Creek Reserve through Fig Tree Pocket. Along Moggill Creek there was more extensive flooding, particularly north of Moggill Road where houses were affected.
Kenmore's census populations have been:
including Fig Tree Pocket
Annette Courtney-Baxter, The country club: the history of Repatriation Hospital Kenmore, Bellbowrie, A. Baxter, 1997
Jean Stewart, Kenmore Park: the land, the house and the people, Kenmore, J. & D. Stewart, 1994