Monday, October 1, 2012

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park

Colonel Allensworth SHP is a little known California State Park, off the beaten track in the San Joaquin Valley.  The town was founded in 1908 and named for one of its founders, Col Allen Allensworth, a former slave who gained an education after the civil war and rose to be a chaplain in the US Army, the first African American to obtain the rank of Colonel.
Today the town is a state park consisting of restored and rebuilt buildings.  I could tell you the story but you will get a much better sense of the town and Col Allensworth if you listen to the park's Podcast.
Throughout the park, plaques explain the history of each of the buildings.  You will find it easier to read the story of these buildings if you enlarge the images.


Although we were unable to get a tour, a kind park employee opened one of the buildings allowing us a closer look inside.
The founders of Allensworth had hoped to found a town where they could live, work and educate their children, free of the discrimination that they felt in other parts of the country.  The early death of Col Allensworth, the loss of water rights and other setbacks kept the town from being the prosperous community they had hoped for.
The town continued with a few residents until the 1960s when arsenic was found in the water.  In 1974 the state bought the property and established the park.
To learn more about the park and some of the special events, visit the park's website and download the brochure.

See other interesting views of our world at Our World, Tuesday; hosted for us by Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sandy and Sylvia.


13 comments:

Sylvia K said...

What a interesting post, Martha! I do want to read more! Thanks for the information! Hope you have a wonderful week!

EG CameraGirl said...

It's wonderful to see the buildings being taken care of. It's an important pat of America's history.

Penelope Postcards said...

That room looks SO cozy! Your picture has me wishing I could sit in that chair and soak in the atmosphere. Arsenic in the water sounds like a mystery Agatha Christie could weave a tale around. :)

Gary said...

Fascinating post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

You know, you got the big movements in history but I find this little known (to me) story to be fascinating.

eileeninmd said...

It is always nice to see that American's history is being well care for. Great post and photos, thanks for sharing and the tour. Have a great day!

Robert Geiss said...

Feels as if even time did pass slower back then.

Please have you all a good Tuesday.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I went by there a year ago and was stopped by a locked chain link fence across the road - CLOSED DUE TO BUDGET CUTS. I am surprised and pleased to see it open once again. It is a nice little park to stop in and camp overnight on my way home from the desert.

Carly said...

Looks like a fun day. I really like how you posted the info on the corner of each picture.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What an interesting post -- I certainly have never heard of it -- I will follow the links.

Glad this park is still open!

Ann said...

I like the dress with the hat. Reminds me of once I had a photo like that showing pink day. And yesterday, I photograph my top with the breast cancer awareness pin.

Janie said...

Fascinating to visit a town that appears to have been stopped in time 100 years ago. Great p hotos to give us a feel for the place.

Joan said...

Interesting. There is so much I haven't seen right here in my own state.