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Allensworth, Black Pride of California
By Staff Report
Published February 15, 2017
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park was named in honor of retired military chaplain Allen Allensworth, inset. The park is located on land purchased by four black men in the southern San Joaquin Valley in 1908. The area was the first town in California that was founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Photos Courtesy of www.parks.ca.gov

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park was named in honor of retired military chaplain Allen Allensworth. The park is located on land purchased by four black men in the southern San Joaquin Valley in 1908. The area was the first town in California that was founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Photos Courtesy of www.parks.ca.gov

On, February 11, The Friends of Allensworth and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (TFACDPR) invited the public to their Black History Month Open House at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park tells the story of California’s early Black pioneers. In 1908, four black men formed the California Colony and Home Promoting Association, which purchased 20 acres along the Santa Fe rail line from the Pacific Farming Company, at a railway stop called Solita.

The land was divided into individual parcels forming the first town in California founded, financed, and governed by blacks. Eventually, the town’s name was changed to Allensworth after the association’s president Allen Allensworth, who was a retired chaplain of the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment.

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In 1914, the town had a schoolhouse and became California’s first African American school district. Soon it would become a judicial district with a Baptist church, hotel, library, which became a part of the Tulare County free library system. Unfortunately, that year during a trip to Monrovia, California, Colonel Allensworth was struck and killed by a motorcycle while crossing the street.

Colonel Allen Allensworth

Colonel Allen Allensworth

The downtown area is now preserved as Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park where thousands of visitors come from all over to partake in the special events held at the park during the year. The area outside of the state park is also still inhabited.

The settlers of Allensworth came to the southern San Joaquin Valley to build a place of their own—a place where hard work, dedication, and faith would allow them and their children the opportunity to control their own discrimination-free destiny.

TFACDPR is inviting everyone to make time to come and see living history, interactive storytelling, and self-guided tours of the historic buildings: The Colonel Allensworth home, the two-room schoolhouse, the Singleton General Store and Post Office, and many more.

For information call: (800) 777-0369, (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service. Please visit online at www.parks.ca.gov.

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