In 1936 School District #304 (Midland) acquired the property from Lorenzo Brickley. The purchase was made possible by the joint efforts of the Harvard and Midland Improvement Clubs, who contributed and raised $200 for the purchase of the property.
In 1938 School District #304 approached the Park District to take over ownership of the property and to manage the park. A special election was held on July 8, 1938, and the residents of School District #304 voted in favor of annexation of the park to the Tacoma Metro Park District by a vote of 182 to 42.
Management and operation of the park shifted back and forth between Metro Parks Tacoma and Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services over the past sixty years, until in the mid 1990’s, ownership was turned back over to Pierce County Parks and Recreation Services.
Dawson Playfield was named for William Dawson who lived in the community for a number of years and took an active part in community and civic affairs.