The first Washington Park was bounded by Third and Fifth Streets, and Fourth and Fifth Avenues. The property contained an old building then called the Gowanus House, which stands today, albeit largely reconstructed. Known today as the Old Stone House, it was used as an impromptu headquarters by General George Washington during the Battle of Long Island, during a delaying action by 400 Maryland troops against approximately 2000 British and Hessian troops that allowed a good portion of the Continental Army to retreat to fortified positions on Brooklyn Heights. Those events inspired the ballpark's name.
The ballpark was the home of the Brooklyn baseball club during 1883–1891, with a slight interruption by a destructive fire in mid-May of the 1889 season.