This small triangular park was once used as a dumping ground for agricultural waste by farmers from nearby St. Albans and Springfield—a practice increasingly considered a nuisance as the area developed in the 19th century. In the 1880s, a Jamaica couple originally from England—Alfred and Amelia Ashmead—purchased the property and created a community garden. The Ashmeads transformed the space into “the show place of Jamaica Village” wrote the Brooklyn Eagle, a paradise of "roses, peonies, gladioli and hollyhocks . . . whose fragrance and beauty residents from all over the village came to enjoy."
The Ashmeads eventually deeded the property to the village for a public park. In 1898, when Jamaica was incorporated into greater New York City, the park came under new jurisdiction. A tiny space on the rural edge of town, it was effectively forgotten and by 1910 had become derelict and overgrown with weeds.