Colonel Allensworth SHP
State Historic Park
Come Home to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park
Effective December 1, 2010 the park will be closed to all vehicular traffic Monday – Wednesday. The park will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and any scheduled special events. Park hours will be reduced from 8am to 5pm to 10am to 4pmA century has passed since the founding of this unique town dedicated to the dignity of the human spirit. Although the centennial celebration is now a part of history, there are still plenty of opportunities to come learn about Colonel Allen Allensworth and the courageous group of families and individuals who believed they could create their own version of the “American Dream.” Come experience the inspiring story of the people who came to an isolated spot in 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.
Colonel Allensworth SHP is a bike friendly park! On your next visit bring your bicycle and enjoy the Park! You might want to ask the staff about the types of bicycles that were used in Allensworth.
Want to get a feel for Allensworth before you come? Then check out our new "virtual tour" webpage for photographs of Allensworth's historic, restored, and reconstructed buildings.
Visit our Co-Operating Assn. webpage: Friends of Allensworth
Check out our YouTube Channel
Join us on Facebook
In August 1908 Colonel Allen Allensworth and four other settlers established a town founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Their dream of developing an abundant and thriving community stemmed directly from a strong belief in programs that allowed blacks to help themselves create better lives. By 1910 Allensworth’s success was the focus of many national newspaper articles praising the town and its inhabitants.
An unavoidable set of circumstances made it impossible for the residents of this tiny town located 30 miles north of Bakersfield to achieve their founders’ dreams over the long term. But the town did remain home to a handful of families and individuals throughout the 20th century, and true to the courage and resolve of its founders, the town has survived and persevered, earning the well-deserved title “The town that refused to die.”
In 1974 California State Parks purchased land within the historical townsite of Allensworth, and it became Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Today a collection of lovingly restored and reconstructed early 20th-century buildings—including the Colonel’s house, historic schoolhouse, Baptist church, and library—once again dots this flat farm country, giving new life to the dreams of these visionary pioneers.
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.
More about the history of Allensworth
Location - Directions
The park is north of Bakersfield; 20 miles north of Wasco on Highway 43; seven miles west of Earlimart on County Road J22.
Directions (From Southern California).
From I-5 take 99 North; 30-miles past Bakersfield, EXIT at POND ROAD and keep going west aprox. 7 miles to State Highway 43. From there, go right (on Highway 43)for about 8-miles to PALMER AVENUE. Make a left over the railroad tracks then turn right to enter the Park.
Directions (From Northern California)
From State Highway 99 take the Alpaugh exit in Earlimart; turn right on County Road J22 (Sierra Way) go aprox. 7 miles to State Highway 43. From there, go left 2 miles to PALMER AVENUE. Make a right over the railroad tracks then turn right to enter the Park.
Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing
The Central Valley, is hot in summer and mild in winter. Rain falls from October through April. Winter temperatures below freezing can bring frost, but snow is rare. Summer temperatures above 100 degrees are part of the normal pattern.
Visitor Center and Tours
The park has a visitor center and tours are available by making arrangements with the park in advance. The visitor center features a video presentation, "Allensworth: A Piece of the World," which is available for viewing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily.
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.
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 fire ring; 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.
More campgrounds are available near Porterville which is about 40 miles north of Allensworth.
Rocky Hill Campground -- 108 sites, primitive.
Army Corps of Engineers -- Success Lake, east of Porterville.
Tule Recreation Area -- 104 sites, disposal station, flush toilets, showers.
KOA Campgrounds -- 5-miles east of Porterville on Hwy 109. Also, 13-miles north of Bakersfield, via SR 99 on Lerdo Highway.
All Aboard for Allensworth!
Why not make the journey to Allensworth a memorable experience for you and your family by taking the train! Just think of how you can use the time on the train--to enjoy visiting with family and friends, to read or play games, to learn more about the town of Allensworth and its people, or even to just sit back and watch the landscape roll by. With a group of 20 or more (you will need a exact head count for preapproval), and several weeks ahead of time, Amtrak can stop at Allensworth and let you off right at the park. Check with Amtrak for exact fares the day you wish to travel. To make reservations for travel to Allensworth, visit www.Amtrak.com or call (800) USA-RAIL and be sure to use the City Code "CNL" (or list the city as "Earlimart"). For group reservations (groups of 20 or more), call (800) 872-1477.
- Hours of Operation:
Visitor Center 10:00am to 4:00pm
- Park Office Telephone:
Max Camper Length:
35 FeetMax Trailer Length
- Purchase Annual Passes
California State Parks is proud to present the following podcast. This program is currently hosted by CA State Parks Foundation.
"The Town that refused to die". (Transcript)
For more podcasts of other California State Parks, visit CA State Park Foundation Podcast Series
Park and Campground
Open: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
10:00 am to 4:00pm
2014 Special Events Calendar at Colonel Allensworth SHP
Special Events Flyer
Lantern Light "Ghost Tour"
March 15, 2014 Saturday, 8:30 pm
May 3, 2014, Saturday, 8:30 pm
September 6, 2014, Saturday, 8:30 pm
October 31, 2014, Friday, 8:30 pm
Strange bumps in the night and the latest information from the Ghost Hunters of the Porterville Ghost Society will be featured on this unique night time event. The unique history of Allensworth as well the results of several investigations by paranormal researchers will be the subject of this special night time tour. Children under 12 not recomended. Special Event fees apply; $10.00 per person, Children 12 and under $5.00
Black History Month Open House
February 8, 2014, Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Old Time Jubilee
May 17th, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
This is the time of year when the carnival came to town! The Friends of Allensworth provides a great family festival atmosphere with entertainment featuring gospel, jazz and drama. You can shop at our open air arts and crafts market and eat some of th best varieties of ethnic food in the country.
June 14th, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. It was on June 19th, that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that all the slaves were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipatation Proclamation, which had become offical on Jan. 1, 1863. This day is clebrated by African Americans in honor of their ancestors who received notice of being set free from slavery on June 19th 1865. There is great entertainment, great speakers and, of course, fabulous free tours of the historic buildings given by State Park Docents.
Annual Rededication Event
October 11th, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Join us for the last event of the 2013 event year at the annual Rededication. This festive event is presented to renew our commitment to the park and its symbolic representation of self determination for all African Americans in the areas of education and economic development. A puppet show featuing "Colonel Allensworth" will also be presented.
A 5K Walk/Run will also take place October 12th at the park. The walk/run begins at 9:00 am and will finish in time to allow participants to take part in other Rededication Day activities. Registration is available online. or by mail 2013 5K Walk Run Brochure. For more information, contact Project Coordinator Dorothy Benjamin at (916) 346-4767.
Colonel Allensworth SHP
Star Route 1, Box 148
Earlimart CA 93219
Did you know it's easy and cheap for school groups to take the train to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park? Taking the train makes the trip itself part of the experience, and your students will love it. For more information, visit Amtrak's Kids 'n Trains program website.