Enoggera, a residential suburb of about 4300 people, is seven km north-west of central Brisbane. It lies north of the Enoggera Creek, separated from that stream by Ashgrove. The suburb's northern boundary is Kedron Brook, which flows east towards the Brisbane Airport. When a post office was opened in 1880 at Enoggera it was named Upper Kedron.
The Enoggera Creek rises in the southern foothills of Mount Nebo and flows east, touching part of the southern boundary of the Enoggera military reserve. Before arriving there, the creek fills the Enoggera Reservoir, about midway between the headwaters and the military area. The name is thus far flung, and until 1925 included the Enoggera Shire, an area of 106 sq km which adjoined Newmarket in the east and extended beyond the western headwaters of the creek. It is thought that the name may have been derived from an Aboriginal word referring to a corroboree place near the mouth of the creek at the Brisbane River. That particular downstream section has been known as Breakfast Creek since given that name by John Oxley in 1824.
The creek became an important watercourse for urban Brisbane when a properly constructed reservoir and waterworks were built on the Enoggera Creek in 1864-66. Situated in a catchment of 33 sq km, the reservoir's 4.5 million kilolitres of water was piped to service reservoirs next to the Observatory on Wickham Terrace. These reservoirs functioned until 1962, after which the Enoggera Reservoir, located in what became Brisbane Forest Park, supplied Ashgrove and The Gap. Later used for environmental and recreational purposes, the reservoir is called on for domestic use during drought periods.
During the 1850s and 1860s Enoggera was an area of small farms including fruit growing. Samford Road was the main route for traffic and a Baptist church opened there in 1872. A primary school opened in South Pine Road in 1871. In 1880 a post office opened, but continued with the name Upper Kedron for some years.
Until 1899 Enoggera was reached only by road, but the first leg of the Mayne-Samford railway line reached Enoggera in that year. A Methodist church (1902) opened and the Church of England established a boy's home next to Kedron Brook in 1907. It lasted until the 1960s and became the site of the Hillbrook Anglican School (1987). Commonwealth military authorities acquired 1200 acres south of Samford Road in 1910, initially for a rifle range. Rifle Range railway station (1916) was opened for a military camp on the Commonwealth land and was later named Gaythorne in 1923 after a property owned by Howard Bliss. (Bliss Street is near the military reserve.) There was also a Presbyterian church (1915) near the station.
In 1917 discharged soldiers began to settle in Enoggera. There was a local government divisional board (severed from Ithaca in 1887), and in 1913 the Enoggera Shire's offices were rebuilt, and Enoggera chosen as the site. They were at the intersection of Enoggera and South Pine Roads, just inside the neighbouring suburb of Alderley.
In 1918 the railway line was extended beyond the Rifle Range station, and an industrial estate was created along Bellevue Avenue, Gaythorne. It included an ice-works and a Wunderlich fibro-sheeting factory. Returned servicemen assisted with the formation of the Memorial Park (1920) next to the boys' home where the local Show Association held annual events until 1939. The RSL assisted with the building of a memorial hall which incorporated a school of arts. In addition to the Gaythorne industrial area, the Enoggera coach and motor body works (1925) in South Pine Road developed a growing business extending to fire engines and refrigerated vans.
When the tram was extended from Newmarket to Enoggera (1949) there was considerable postwar urbanisation. The Wardell Street tram terminus had an active shopping centre and the Gaythorne village had nearly 20 shops and the Civic picture theatre. (At various times there were also theatres in Mitchelton and at South Pine Road, Alderley.) The rifle range closed in 1964, by which time the military reserve was enclosed on three sides by suburbs.
Enoggera has a small shopping centre at the corner of Samford Road and Wardell Street, and regional shopping is westwards at Mitchelton's Brookside shopping centre. Private schools include Mt Maria Junior Catholic College (1970), Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic primary school (1918), and Hillbrook Anglican School (1987). Mt Maria Senior College is in Mitchelton. A bowling club (1938) is near the railway station and linear parks adjoin Kedron Book and a tributary stream. In 2000 Gaythorne was detached from Enoggera as a separate suburb. Enoggera's census populations have been:
without Alderley but
Barbara Gunn and Maureen Shannon, Enoggera district heritage trail, Alderley, Enoggera and Districts Historical Society, 2001
Helen Horton, ed, A Brisbane bushland ... Enoggera reservoir and its environs, Brisbane, Queensland Naturalists' Club, 2002
John Kerr, Enoggera - a very short branch railway, Alderley, Enoggera and Districts Historical Society Inc, 1999