In 1774, St. George's Parish purchased the land around you for a cemetery. Following the American Revolution and disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Virginia, the Fredericksburg government appropriated this land for a public burying ground. The western lot line of the cemetery, marked by a brick wall, is visible to your right.
In 1875, the town council decided to convert the increasingly neglected grounds into a park and directed the removal of headstones and graves to other cemeterires. The new park opened July 12, 1881, named in honor of prominent local businessman John G. Hurkamp.
In 1860, St. George's Church had petitioned the Council to investigate its claim to the property, but the Civil War interrupted this process. The issue resurfaced in 1953, when the Rescue Squad sought to lease a portion of the park. By then, public usage over several generations had established legal ownership. Hurkamp Park remains public.