John and Emily Mayes and their two small children, Joshua and Ruth, arrived in Brisbane from England aboard the ship Indus on 21 July 1871. On 27 June 1873, John took up 321 acres of land in the area that was later to become Kingston. At that time it was simply known as Scrubby Creek.
After settling in Queensland, John and Emily had five more children, Rachel, Mary Matilda, Josiah, Leonard and Edith.
According to family stories, the Mayes made their income from selling timber as they cleared the land. They built a slab hut, planted fruit trees, pineapples and grapes, and kept bees. They sold their produce in Brisbane or Beenleigh. By 1887, the Mayes had prospered and built a new house of sawn timber. They called it Pleasant Place and it survives today as Mayes Cottage.
In 1992 Mayes Cottage was registered to the Queensland Heritage register.
The property is now managed by Logan City Council as a house museum open to the general public.