Pleystowe is a rural village in the Pioneer River valley, 17 km west of central Mackay. It was named after a sugar and cotton farm selected in 1866 by Joseph Holmes. In 1869 the Pleystowe sugar-crushing mill began operation, and in the 1870s Pleystowe rum was made from the molasses by-product.
By the 1890s cane-growing was in the hands of independent growers, and a primary school was opened in 1896. The mill had been taken over by the Melbourne-based Pleystowe Sugar Co in 1882 and, although profits were weak, the mill kept going as others around it closed. Amalgamated Sugar Mills Ltd operated the mill for Australian Estates from 1925 until 1974, when it was sold to CSR.
Pleystowe had a school of arts in the grounds of the mill, and in 1943 wives and mothers of local servicemen met there to raise funds for food parcels. Unspent money was used to plant an avenue of honour for servicemen who lost their lives. A fine group of eight surviving fig trees lines Eungella Road near the mill.
The primary school closed in 1961 and the school of arts was demolished in 2001. Mackay sugar cooperative took over the mill from CSR in 1988, operating it with the Marian, Racecourse, Farleigh, North Eton and Cattle Creek mills. The last two were closed in 1988-90, and Pleystowe had its last crushing in 2008. Pleystowe has a general store.
Its census populations have been: