Waterford West must be examined in the historical context of Waterford and Logan Reserve. Migrants from England, Ireland and Germany settled this area.
Initial development in Waterford West began around Tygum lagoon. Arthur Pimm took up riverfront land here in 1862 with John Rafter taking up the remainder to the north of the lagoon. Pimm then engineered the relocation of the Waterford ferry, which Samuel Waterman had established at the end of Tygum Road in 1862. Pimm closed off the road and then had a new road surveyed to cross the river at the current bridge site. Pimm then subdivided the estate, which he marketed as Pimlico in 1866.
The ferry had a string of operators including Waterman and William Stone. The first official licence went to Henry Eden in 1865. Eden had a small hotel and store located between Loganlea Road and the ferry, which was used to accommodate travellers. Eden generally employed others to run his ferries, which also included the Loganholme ferry. Eden's Ferry Hotel was licensed to ferryman William Huston in March 1871. Richard Leo established the Morning Star Hotel at the same time on the western corner of Loganlea Road. He was licensed in May 1871. Another hotel was built on the southern side of the river closer to Bethania, run by Robert Skiffens, which was built around 1873. It burnt down in January 1877. A new hotel was built near the river by Gottfried Tesch, known as the Waterford Arms, which opened in October 1878.
Arthur Pimm's attempts to sell Pimlico township were not successful and in 1869, Henry Jordan, the former emigration agent for Queensland, purchased the estate and renamed it Tygum. Jordan was instrumental in much of the Irish immigration to Queensland. He was the state member for East Moreton between 1868-71. Jordan began construction of a sugar mill almost immediately. Sugar was seen as a better option to cotton. Sugar cultivation on the Logan was encouraged by Louis Hope of the Ormiston plantation near Cleveland, and early sugar crops on the Logan were taken by riverboat to Hope's mill for crushing.
Sugar growing became a key industry on the Logan for the next 20 years. Hope only managed to secure the milling of Logan sugar for a couple of years and many farmers started building their own mills. The first crushing at Tygum mill was in September 1870. At that time Jordan purchased Tygum Road and it was permanently closed to traffic. It is likely that the stand of bunya trees marking the entrance to his estate was planted at this time. The other significant legacy of Jordan’s occupation is the private cemetery in Henry Jordan Park, which holds the remains of four infants of Henry and Sarah Jordan, who died between 1872 and 1876.
Logan River residents continually lobbied for a bridge across the river, but the funding was not forthcoming. By 1875 tenders were called for the supply of timber for a bridge at Waterford. It was completed in August 1876.
A school was also required in the region. While the Logan Reserve School had been established around 1865, it was far removed geographically from Waterford West.
In the mid 1870s the Catholic Church from Logan Reserve was relocated to a site adjacent to the Morning Star Hotel. A cemetery evolved next to the church. It may have been in use as early as 1874 when infant Richard Leo junior died. The Leo family formally donated the land to the Church in 1892.
Henry Jordan sold off much of his property in 1878. Tygum House was sold to William Arthy and Jordan left the district. Arthy and his son James are also buried in the private cemetery on the riverbank in Henry Jordan Park.
The Lahey brothers purchased Jordan's sugar mill in 1879. The sugar milling equipment was then sold to Schneiders of Bethania, who set it up on the creek in Old Logan Village Road. Laheys then turned their attention to timber milling. The sawmill burnt down in 1884 and the family later moved to Canungra.
A major flood on the river occurred on Australia Day in 1974. Two houses were washed away, although the bridge survived. A new high level bridge was constructed in 1996. The old hotels were rebuilt. The Morning Star, which became the Club Hotel at the turn of the century, was rebuilt in 1969. The Waterford Arms was resurrected as the Riverwilde Hotel in 1972.
A drive-in theatre was built on Logan Reserve Road, near Beutel Road in December 1974. A new school was established in Waterford West in 1976. The old Catholic Church had been sold off in the late 1940s and relocated to Eight Mile Plains and then to Daisy Hill, where it remains in use as St Declans. The cemetery was then sold by the Catholic Church, with only four graves relocated to Gleneagle. It is unknown how many graves remain on the site, which is now occupied by semi-industrial shops.
A new school was built in Waterford West in 1976.
In 1978 Logan and Albert Shires were formed and Waterford was split in two, with the western part in Logan and the remainder in Albert Shire (later Gold Coast). Waterford West was gazetted as a suburb in 1987.