In the early 19th Century, this area was owned by the Heyser family and was known as "Heyser's Woods". The mansion house was constructed by John H. Heyser between 1843 and 1846. "Heyser's Woods" became a popular local picnic grounds, and when the Hagerstown Fair Association formed in 1854, Mr. Heyser allowed the fair to be held on his property. The fair was suspended during the Civil War years. The fair buildings were destroyed by Union and Confederate soldiers who regularly camped here in their campaigns. General Robert E. Lee camped here in 1863 during the Gettysburg Campaign.
Mr. Heyser moved to Florida in 1882 and soon died there. In 1884, his estate sold the property to William H. Armstrong, who lived in the house. In 1890, the West End Improvement Company formed and Armstrong transferred his holdings to the company. In 1915 the City of Hagerstown purchased this land from the West End Improvement Company for $40,000 to be used as a public park. Samuel Detrow was appointed park superintendent, and nationally-known landscape architect. George Burnap was retained to create a master plan for the park.
For a century, City Park has served as one of the principal social and recreational facilities for Hagerstown residents and enjoys a reputation as one of the finest urban parks on the east