In 1925 the City of Preston acquired land from G. Haxby at corner of Albert Street and Bell Street for use as a recreational area. In 1927 and again in 1950 more land was acquired, taking the total land area from its original 9 acres to 15 acres.
Originally known as Haxby's Park the reserve later was renamed H. L. T. Oulton Reserve. Oulton was Mayor of Preston 1948-1949.
In 2006 Melbourne Water invested $1.3 million in constructing a retaining basin in the southern half of the reserve.