Gowerville was a semi-urban and rural locality in south-east Preston in the nineteenth century, 9 km north-east of Melbourne.
In 1839 Abel Gower purchased one of the twelve allotments which would later comprise the Preston municipality. Gower’s purchase was bounded by High Street, Murray Road, the Darebin Creek and Bell Street. (Gower Street runs east-west.) In 1860 part of Gower’s land was subdivided as the Gowerville estate, and the name was adopted for most of south-east Preston, extending south of Gower’s land to Dundas Street. A Gowerville village was formed at the junction of High Street and Plenty Road, and included the Junction Hotel and a Methodist church.
In 1866 Preston’s first school, Gowerville primary, was opened in Gowerville at the corner of Albert and Raglan Streets, approximately in the middle of the farmlands. In 1878 it was moved west to Hotham Street and later renamed Preston South. The Gowerville village was described in the Victorian municipal directory in 1885 as having an extensive ham-curing establishment, a flour mill, two potteries, two brick yards, six tanneries, two hotels, a church and a post-receiving box. The ham-curing business was that of James C. Hutton, prominent Preston Methodist and well-known advertiser: 'Don't argue: Hutton's hams are best!'.
The Preston district was Jika shire (1871-85), and a site for a shire hall was reserved at the corner of High and Gower Streets in 1885. In 1889 a railway station was opened just east of the shire hall site. With the naming of the shire as Preston in 1885 and the station being named Preston, the name Gowerville was superseded.
In 1952 a primary school was opened at the corner of Bell and Victoria Streets and named Gowerville, reviving the name until its closure in 1993.
Gowerville’s sole recorded census population was 276 in 1881.