Introduction to Allensworth
Colonel Allen Allensworth - Army chaplain, educator, orator, and founder of the town of Allensworth - was born into slavery in Louisville, Kentucky on April 7, 1842. Intelligent and eager for knowledge, he was encouraged by his mother to learn to read and write. At 12 years old, he was sold for violating the law that prohibited the education of slaves. In 1862, Allen fled enslavement to join the Union Navy Forces. After the Civil War, he achieved the formal education he had been denied earlier in his life. In 1886, after earning a doctorate of theology, Allensworth became chaplain to the U.S. Army's 24th Infantry, one of the army's four African American regiments known as the Buffalo Soldiers. In 1906, he retired from the army as a lieutenant colonel settling in Los Angeles. In 1908, a group of African Americans led by Colonel Allensworth founded a town in southwest Tulare County that would combine pride of ownership, equality of opportunity, and high ideals.
Hey teachers! Are you ready for an adventure?
The new California State Parks Adventure Pass provides free entry for fourth grade students at 19 select parks throughout the state including Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Learn how you can help students explore California's extraordinary cultural and natural resources at California State Parks Adventure Pass.
On-Site School Tours
Students will experience the rich history of Allensworth from its founding in 1908 to the formation of the park in 1976 in a period setting consisting of 22 restored and reconstructed buildings including a schoolhouse, Baptist church, hotel, library, general store, and several houses situated amid the rural landscape of California's Great Central Valley.
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park offers both guided and self-guided school tours. For more information or to schedule a guided or self-guided school tour, please email us or phone (661) 849-3433.
Pre-visit and Post-visit Information and Activities
Virtual School Tours
Allensworth: A California African American Town explores the life of Colonel Allen Allensworth, the Phillips family - long-time residents of Allensworth, and Professor William A. Payne and the Allensworth two-room schoolhouse. Teachers visit the online booking page to schedule a unique 45-minute virtual school tour for your class at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park through the California State Parks' PORTS program.