Military Park is the oldest park in Newton, established in 1871. Today it encompasses 4.44 acres of land. It was originally known as East Park until 1899 when the Soldier’s Monument was placed. The Soldier’s Monument consists of a "Columbiad" 10-inch cannon reportedly weighing 15,400 pounds with 60 10-inch cannon shells, weighing 90 pounds each, stacked in three pyramids on its sides. The gun was purchased in 1897 from the Waterton Arsenal in Waterton, Massachusetts, by the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic for the purposes of the monument. During the dedication ceremony of the Soldier’s Monument, Mayor George Young formally christened the park as Military Park. The theme carried forward when the Unknown Dead monument was added in December 1911. The local Woman’s Relief Corps was responsible for raising the funds to have the monument commissioned. It was intended to serve as a reminder of the countless unknown dead soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War.
The most recent addition to the park is the 1880s steam locomotive, which was placed on site in 1955. Special tracks were built from the tracks along Broadway to bring the locomotive to its final resting place. A dedication ceremony was held in 1956. The locomotive was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia and ran more than 1 million miles before being retired in 1953.