Description - Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is the only California town to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans.
Copyright: California State Parks
A farmhouse in Colonel Allensworth SHP
- Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is the only California town to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans. The small farming community was founded in 1908 by Colonel Allen Allensworth and a group of others dedicated to improving the economic and social status of African Americans. Uncontrollable circumstances, including a drop in the area's water table, resulted in the town's demise. With continuing restoration and special events, the town is coming back to life as a state historic park. The park's visitor center features a film about the site. A yearly rededication ceremony reaffirms the vision of the pioneers.
Recreation - The park has a visitor center and tours are available by making arrangements with the park in advance. The visitor center also features a video presentation, "The Spirit of Allensworth," which is available for viewing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., any day of the week. The most important building, historically and in the memory of Allensworth pioneers, is the schoolhouse. It was in use until 1972 and is furnished as it would have been on a school day in 1915. An audio presentation is available on site. Audio presentations are also available at Grosse's Drug Store, and the Singleton General Store and Post Office. Also important to the education of Allensworth's citizens was the Mary Dickenson Memorial Library, about 200 yards north of the school. Colonel Allensworth's residence is furnished in the 1912 period. It contains items from the colonel's life in the service and the ministry. A small display of farm equipment is a reminder of the Allensworth economic base.
Fifteen campsites, open all year, will accommodate RVs or tents. Each site includes a picnic table and a camp stove; flush toilets are nearby. Facilities for disabled people are available. Turf, trees, and shade ramadas are other features. A nearby picnic area is shaded by 75 large trees, planted by the California Conservation Corps.
The closest campgrounds outside Allensworth are at Porterville, about 40 miles to the south.
Climate - A generally warm, dry climate prevails in the Central Valley, it is hot in the summer, mild in the winter. In the Central Valley precipitation falls mainly from October through April. Winter temperatures well below freezing producing frost, however, snow is very rare. Summer temperatures above 100 degrees are part of the normal pattern.
The park is north of Bakersfield; 20 miles north of Wasco on Highway 43; seven miles west of Earlimart on County Road J22.