With a view to making their fortunes, Matthew Brown Orr and James Honeyman arrived in Moreton Bay from Scotland on the Helenslee on 6 August 1862. To create an address for their enterprise they chose Queen’s Wharf, specifically allotment no. 5 which they purchased from its first owner, Thomas Dowse, sometime in 1863.
In the early years of the twentieth century a power generating station was constructed at the corner of William and Margaret Streets, where Pettigrew’s Sawmill had once been. Constructed by the City Electric Light Company Limited, this station provided power to the city until larger stations such as that at Bulimba took over.
The history of the Queen’s Wharf precinct is linked to infrastructure, industry and transport rather than residential development, a matter clearly shown in the location in 1890, slightly upstream of Queen’s Wharf, of the Sanitation Depot.
The largest landowner on Queen’s Wharf during the nineteenth century, William Pettigrew, was from Ayrshire, Scotland. A trained surveyor, through his association with Dr John Dunmore Lang he migrated to Queensland, arriving in Brisbane on the Fortitude in January 1849. As the expected land grants associated with this immigration scheme proved non-existent, Pettigrew surveyed with the Government Surveyor Warner before joining Commissioner of Crown Lands Stephen Simpson in his journeys around the region. He also set out the plan on site for Simpson’s new home, Wolston House.