This park area was originally owned by the Provincial Government. In 1913 the Municipality of Point Grey (before amalgamation of the city in 1929) petitioned the Province for this waterfront property but was rejected as already having enough parkland for residents. Then the Native Daughters of British Columbia leased several of these lots from the Province with their aim being to move the Old Hastings Mill Store to the site and operate it as a museum. The store was one of the few buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1886. In 1930 the Daughters got possession of the building which was moved from downtown by scow to the property they had leased. Premier S.F. Tolmie officially opened the store as a museum on January 17, 1932. Before this time the site was referred to as Alma Park and Thorley Park but after the old store arrived, the Native Daughters started calling it Pioneer Park, the designation of which was scorned by City Archivist Major Skitt Matthews.
In 1940, the Province leased lots 1- 4 for a term of 99 years to the Park Board along with lots 5 - 8. They also acquired the water lots 1- 8 from the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (RVYC) with the City agreeing to never develop a public bathing beach on that foreshore without the consent of the RVYC . The Park Board also agreed as part of the terms of the lease, to allow the Native Daughters free access to the store building at all times and that they would be sole administrators of the building; their length of occupancy would be the same as the Park Board’s lease with the Province and the Daughters must maintain and keep the store in reasonable repair to the satisfaction of the Park Board Superintendent.
In November 1975 the park’s name was changed to Hastings Mill Park. This would have much satisfied the then recently departed City Archivist Major Matthews who never agreed with the previous moniker.