This parkland commemorates the soldiers from the Maspeth area of Queens who gave their lives in World War I. The park’s namesake, Walter A. Garlinger, was the first resident of Maspeth who fell in the war. Private Garlinger was killed in action on September 2, 1918, just nine weeks before the end of the War.
The first colony settled by the English in Queens County, Maspeth was home to the Mespat Indians. In 1642, Reverend Francis Doughty from the Massachusetts colony was expelled from the colony after the Mohicans and Matinecocks burned down his settlement in retaliation for the massacre of Indians in Connecticut. Settlers then moved inland to what is now Elmhurst.
Maspeth was eventually settled by workers and their families from Brooklyn and Long Island City. The first influx of settlers came at the turn of the 19th century, when factories and industry developed in the region. Most notably, Cord Meyer established the Acme Fertilizer Company, which brought workers into Maspeth. During the same period, developers converted two farms into streets and building lots, creating the community that is now bounded by 59th Place to 69th Street and 55th Drive to Grand Avenue.
Bounded by Grand and 57th Avenues and 72nd Street, the park holds a monument honoring all the soldiers and sailors from the neighborhood who died in combat. Architect Paul C. Hunder constructed the edifice in 1931. Also in the park are a flagpole and World’s Fair benches atop hexagon block pavement.