Coopers Plains, a mostly residential suburb on the railway line to the Gold Coast, is 11 km south of central Brisbane.
The area was originally known as Cowpers Plains. Dr Henry Cowper was assistant surgeon in Moreton Bay penal settlement, remaining there until 1832.
In 1840 a dray route was surveyed from Brisbane to Coopers Plains and the next year it was extended to Cleveland. Coopers Plains was extensive, from Blunder Creek to Sunnybank, from the present suburb southwards to Larapinta, and Acacia Ridge and all the suburbs to its west and south were part of it. The district's first school (1869) was the present Acacia Ridge primary, but known as Coopers Plains between 1873 and 1956.
The Cleveland track was sufficiently well used that the Moreton Bay Jockey Club formed a course there (1843). The site was presumably in the public's mind when the Rose and Crown Hotel (near the present Acacia Ridge Hotel) was opened there in 1868.
When the South Coast railway line was opened in 1885 the district of Coopers Plains was centred around the station. Within a year the speculative Orange Grove estate east of the railway station was put up for sale. Coopers Plains remained rural, continuing thus until the 1940s, with a Catholic church (1876), a United Protestant church (1920s), a sawmill, wood carters and several farmers including dairy farmers. By the 1940s milk and cream were taken to the Kingston dairy factory, Logan. There were also several business allied with the Archerfield aerodrome. Two progress halls were built in the 1920s, near the railway station and further out at the corner of Beaudesert and Boundary Roads. A post office was opened in 1926 in the station area, and in 1931 the Orange Grove (now Coopers Plains) primary school was opened east of the station. Electricity was connected to Coopers Plains in 1930. Between the school and the station the Damour Army barracks, signature Nissen 'igloo' buildings, were built in 1942. They served as uncomfortable migrant accommodation in the 1950s, while nearby the Queensland Housing Commission put up imported Dutch concrete houses. Groundwater seepage affected the concrete, and the associated timber work was infested with borer. Unpleasant fumigation was then needed.
Between 1947 and 1954 Coopers Plains' population increased more than fourfold to nearly 7000. The railway line was duplicated in 1951, and the barracks igloos hung around until 1991. Shopping centres developed in Henley Street, west of the station, and in Orange Grove Road. Away to the north, two kilometres from the station, vacant land was taken for the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital (1981) and the Government Scientific Laboratories (1989). Between the railway station and the hospital there is Stable Swamp Creek, a water course that drains towards Rocklea. In Coopers Plains, there are a park and the Beryl Roberts wetland reserve either side of the watercourse.
West of the railway there are substantial industrial areas extending southwards to Acacia Ridge.
The north-west corner of Coopers Plains (Beaudesert Road/Riawena Road) is an industrial area traversed by Stable Swamp Creek, a tributary of Oxley Creek. In January 2011 the creek flooded the area as far as Boyland Avenue.
Coopers Plains census populations have been :
Coopers Plains Local History Group, A closer look at Coopers Plains, Coopers Plains, The Group 1993
Coopers Plains State School, 1931-1991, Coopers Plains, Coopers Plains State School, 1991
Vernooy, Alfons, Dutch houses of Coopers Plains, Kelvin Grove DC, Brisbane History Group, 2004