Local Treasure

There hasn’t been a blog entry the last couple of weeks because I didn’t have any musings I thought anyone else might find interesting.  However, yesterday I read an article on the town of Allensworth, in Tulare County, which I’ve driven by dozens of times but never visited. Allensworth was founded in 1908 by Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth, a retired clergy man from the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment, along with William Alexander Payne and three other black settlers with the idea that African Americans could own property, learn, thrive, and live the American Dream. Though initially successful, the town was a victim of severe drought, devastating crop losses, and ultimately the discovery of arsenic in the town’s water supply leading to its scheduled demolition in 1966. Luckily, the remains of the town were spared and in 1974 the State designated Allensworth as a State park. It continues to host annual events to preserve its history and is accessible to visitors. What a fascinating part of local history and an easy drive for a day trip.