Hemmant, a residential and industrial suburb, is 11 km north-east of central Brisbane, lying between the Brisbane River and Wynnum Road. Its western boundary is the Bulimba Creek flood plain (also known as Doughboy or Doboy Creek) in that area, which had fertile soil with light scrub.
Land sales occurred in 1858 for farms and for fruit and vegetable growing. Sugar cane was planted in the early 1860s and several mills were built. The best known was Gibsons Clydesdale mill, and there was also a co-operative mill (1872) in Murarrie.
A primary school was opened in 1864. First named Bulimba Creek, it was renamed Doughboy Creek in 1866 and Hemmant in 1878. Two years before, the district had been named after the local parliamentarian, William Hemmant, who represented the Bulimba electorate during 1873-76, and was treasurer in the Macalister government.
A Wesleyan church was built in 1866. After being a Uniting church it was handed over to a non-denominational group in 1987. It is of Gothic design and is one of Queensland's oldest surviving weatherboard church buildings. A cemetery ground south of the Hemmant village (now just inside Tingalpa) was laid out in 1875. The Wesleyan church and several buildings at the state primary school are listed on the Queensland heritage register.
Near the river there was considerable development in the locality known as Queensport. The Queensland freezing works were opened in 1880 and in 1889 a short-lived aquarium and zoo were opened at the end of Aquarium Avenue. They coincided with the opening of the Cleveland railway line, but there was only a station at Lindum. Riverboats brought visitors to the Aquarium until it was ended by the 1893 flood (the animals were saved and the building reused as a dance hall until 1901). The Queensport Hotel in Gosport Street - a landmark balconied Queenslander - was opened in 1891.
In 1914 Hemmant was given its own railway station and in 1921 a local progress association was formed. Two years later a school of arts was built at the corner of Brand Street and Hemmant - Tingalpa Road. Farming continued at Hemmant, but industrial uses further intruded. On the other side of Bulimba the Doboy electricity power house was commissioned in 1926 and the Gibson Island power house began operation in 1953 (Gibson Island was named after an engineer of the harbours and marine department, not the Gibson sugar mill, and was used as a burial place for bubonic plague victims; the quarantine station was downstream at Lytton). Angliss and the Master Butchers had large holding paddocks, and sites. Aquarium passage became a mooring area for amateur boaties, small vessels and houseboats. The author Peter Pinney lived in a houseboat there in the 1960s. Marine-related industries were established, along with a foundry, a tank maker and a river-gravel depot.
Bulimba Creek's flood plain inhibited residential growth, although the resident population grew by more than a third during 1996-2001. A new estate was formed around Macedon and Bogong Streets. In 2004 the Pradella portlink development began on the former Angliss land, providing sub-leases for marine services. A four-lane motorway joining the Gateway Motorway to Lytton Road was opened in 2002. It passes through Hemmant and residents must still use Lytton Road to get to the Gateway route.
Hemmant's census populations have been:
J.T. Cairncross, Hemmant: past and present, Hemmant, Hemmant State School Committee, 1954
Gil Perrin, Hemmant State School 1864-1958, 1989