One of the many state parks we visited in 2016, was Allensworth State Historic Park. Travelling has been so much fun, and I have learned a lot about a couple of states.When we first arrived and parked, (after meeting the park supervisor, who was a very nice lady) we went into the visitor center. There we watched a really good documentary/movie about the town of Allensworth. There was also photographs with bios and artifacts from the 1900’s.
While visiting the Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, we were able to learn much about this small town’s history. We learned about the group of people who came together and formed the association and purchased the land the town was built on. We learned about a number of the families that moved to the town and made the core membership. The Professors, the Librarians, the Doctors, Farmers and settlers. We were able to get an idea of what their lives were like.
When the town started Col. Allensworth wanted to provide a town were self-reliance and realizing ones potential as a people could be attained. Education and hard work were a few of the foundations the town was built on. It was the first town ,( in the state of California) that was not only founded and governed by, but also financed by Black Americans.
Both my husband and I enjoyed our time at Colonel Allensworth Historic Park. We opted not to stay in the RV area (John L. Whitehead Jr. Campground) located in the park. Instead we took the self guided walking-phone tour. This was actually the first time I came into contact with a phone tour and thought it was the best thing ever. Outside of each of the buildings there is a post with a corresponding number. Once you enter it the phone goes into an automated message giving you historical information.
We were able to walk around most of the houses and take pictures. When we passed the general store, (while one of the park attendants was cleaning) we were able to go inside. Our visit was on a sunday so we were very glad she allowed us to enter. Like most historical sites, It was a simple building. There was clothing, lace, fans, night-wear and books. It was a very eclectic offering of supplies. Since it was the early to mid 1900’s, They sold what was needed by settlers at the time. (the lace threw me off. LOL)
Although the town stopped appearing on local maps by 1973, there are a large number of people who enjoy recreating a time when the town was lively. Every year there is an Old Time Jubilee to recreate the festive atmosphere of when the carnival came to the small town. The Friends of Allensworth non-profit has worked to assist in keeping Col.Allensworth State Park running.
In conclusion, we both enjoyed the history we learned. I enjoyed seeing the houses, wells
barns, restaurants, and library. I took from it that there is very little that could not be done in the company of like-minded people. The water draught, economic decline, and the fact that the railroad moved the stop that was popping in most of the towns business were the major factors in the towns decline.
I hope that the summary of my visit will peak your interest enough for you to go visit also.We look forward to sharing our other travels with everyone of our friends here on Pagoda’s Dream.
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