Explore California: Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park | Cal Parks

Explore California: Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park

Published: February 20, 2020

By Shakaylah Leonard, Membership Coordinator

“Create sentiment favorable to intellectual and industrial liberty” – Allensworth

In honor of Black History Month, we bring you the only town in California that was once governed and financed by African-Americans.


Located in the southern San Joaquin Valley in Tulare County, Allensworth was a town founded by 5 remarkable individuals: Professor William Payne, Dr. William Peck, J.W. Palmer, Harry Mitchell, and the Colonel the town was named after, Colonel Allen Allensworth. Their goal was to create a new beginning for African Americans, a beginning that freed them from the laws of the Jim Crow South and a beginning that prove that African Americans could be self-sufficient on their own.

The land was purchased by Califorina State Parks in 1974, forming Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.

Allensworth Schoolhouse

Must-see Attractions

A must-see when you visit the park is the Allensworth Schoolhouse (top and middle) and the Mary Dickson Memorial Library (bottom). Both buildings were essential to education of Allensworth’s citizens. The school house became the first African American school district in California and the library became a part of the Tulare County free library system.

Allensworth Schoolhouse, interior
Mary Dickson Memorial Library

Park Upcoming Celebrations

Old Time Jubilee

When: Saturday, May 16, 2020

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm


Juneteenth Celebration:

When: Saturday, June 13, 2020

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm