12. Doughboy Park is a storied World War I memorial
Doughboy Park, bounded by Woodside Avenue, 52nd Street, and 39th Road, is a hidden gem in Woodside, notable for its statue of a doughboy and a small garden. After the land on which the park is situated was determined to be too steep and overgrown for children to play on, it was assigned to NYC Parks in 1957, which later developed it into a sitting space. The doughboy monument was placed in the park in 1923 to honor members of the U.S. Army or Marine Corps used by the British during World War I. The sculpture was created by Burt W. Johnson from Flushing depicting a solemn World War I soldier holding his helmet and gun standing atop a granite pedestal inscribed with “LEST WE FORGET 1917-1918.” Soldiers from Woodside would gather at the “mustering ground” before leaving to fight, though 10 soldiers who left from the park never returned,
In 1990, the statue was renewed and coated with wax, and the surrounding plaza was renovated in 2001 to include benches. A stone panel was installed with the names of 11 major World War One campaigns and seven key battles in which American soldiers fought. Locals continue visiting the park every Memorial Day, as they have done for over a century.
Next, check out 16 Must-Visit Places in Woodside!