Visitor Center: Monday-Sun 10am-4pm
(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day)
Park: Monday-Sun 9am-Sunset
and scheduled special events
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park
Come Home to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park
A 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
Check out our 360 photos on Google Maps/Streetview
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
Agents of Discovery App
Come help the Ministry of Culture at Colonel Allensworth SHP. Download the Agents of Discovery app on your smartphone or tablet and the Colonel Allensworth mission! The App is FREE! and does not require WiFi or cellular data to plan once installed!
Smithsonian Learning Lab - Colonel 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.
If you are coming by Train, Please call AmTrack at: 1-800-872-1477 or 1-800-USA RAIL
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 picnic area is shaded by trees planted by they California Conservation Corps and has BBQ stands and tables.
A self guided "Cell Phone Tour" is available on site, with each stop providing a breif history of the towns residents.
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.
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 and showers are nearby. Facilities for disabled people are available. Turf, trees, and shade ramadas are other features.
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.