Allensworth, California

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Allensworth, California
Allensworth's restored buildings now occupy Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.
Allensworth's restored buildings now occupy Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.
Allensworth, California is located in California
Allensworth, California
Allensworth, California
Position in California.
Coordinates: 35°51′00″N 119°23′21″W / 35.85000°N 119.38917°W / 35.85000; -119.38917Coordinates: 35°51′00″N 119°23′21″W / 35.85000°N 119.38917°W / 35.85000; -119.38917
Country United States
State California
 • Total3.10 sq mi (8.04 km2)
 • Land3.10 sq mi (8.04 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation213 ft (65 m)
 • Total471
 • Estimate 
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code661
FIPS code06-01010
GNIS feature ID2585402

Allensworth is a census-designated place (CDP) in Tulare County, California.[2] Allensworth sits at an elevation of 213 feet (65 m),[2] the same elevation as the huge and historically important Tulare Lake shore when it was full.[4] The 2010 United States census reported Allensworth's population was 471.

It was a town founded in 1908, with the idea that African Americans could own property, learn, thrive, and live the American Dream. It was named by Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth.[5]

Now designated Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, the community is located in the ZIP Code 93219 and in the area code 661.

Terrain and environment[edit]

Allensworth marks the eastern high-water shoreline of Tulare Lake, (once the largest U.S. lake outside the Great Lakes,) which supported one of the largest Indian populations on the continent, herds of elk, millions of water fowl, as well as a commercial fishery and ferry service.[6] Other townsites located on this historic shoreline include Lemoore on its northern tip, and Kettleman City on the western shore, while nearby Alpaugh is on the eastern end of a long, sandy ridge at elevation 210 ft. that was once called Hog Island. Due to diversions of the natural waterways since the mid to late 19th century, only a tiny remnant of Tulare Lake now remains. The last time Tulare Lake was full and overflowed its spillway (near Lemoore) was 1878.

Just north of Allensworth is the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge, 6,833-acre (27.65 km2) grassland and wetland habitats operated by the Department of the Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service. Of great interest, thousands of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis), use this refuge each winter from November through March. red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), are among the 141 type of birds that can be seen here.[7] Burrowing owls are sometimes present.[8] Also present are Pacific pond turtles, once an important part of Tulare Lake's fishery trade with San Francisco.

Adjacent to the town is Allensworth Ecological Reserve. The endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) can be found in this area.[7]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), all of it land.


Colonel Allen Allensworth, a retired clergy man from the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment, along with William Alexander Payne and three other black settlers established the town to be the first in California to be "founded, financed, and governed by blacks." [9]

Allensworth's reputation drew many from all over the country to the town, causing some to buy property sight-unseen in order to support the efforts. In the early 20th century, the area boasted a great boom and hosted California's first African American school district by 1910.[10]

With the death of Colonel Allensworth in 1914, the town experienced extreme losses, coupled with severe drought and decreased crop yields. Many residents left the area following World War I, and the town of Allensworth was scheduled for demolition in 1966 when arsenic was found in the water supply.[10]

The town was memorialized as a state park in 1974, and hosts events annually to preserve its history.[9]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

The 2010 United States Census[12] reported that Allensworth had a population of 471. The population density was 151.8 people per square mile (58.6/km2). The racial makeup of Allensworth was 158 (33.5%) White, 22 (4.7%) African American, 0 (0.0%) Native American, 8 (1.7%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 279 (59.2%) from other races, and 4 (0.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 436 persons (92.6%).

The Census reported that 471 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 115 households, out of which 69 (60.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 67 (58.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 20 (17.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 11 (9.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 10 (8.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 1 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 13 households (11.3%) were made up of individuals, and 7 (6.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.10. There were 98 families (85.2% of all households); the average family size was 4.37.

The population was spread out, with 187 people (39.7%) under the age of 18, 66 people (14.0%) aged 18 to 24, 100 people (21.2%) aged 25 to 44, 93 people (19.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 25 people (5.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.

There were 142 housing units at an average density of 45.8 per square mile (17.7/km2), of which 56 (48.7%) were owner-occupied, and 59 (51.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0%; the rental vacancy rate was 11.8%. 220 people (46.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 251 people (53.3%) lived in rental housing units.


The Allensworth School District hosts a single school serving grades K through 8.[13]


In the California State Legislature, Allensworth is in the 14th Senate District, represented by Democrat Melissa Hurtado, and in the 26th Assembly District, represented by Republican Devon Mathis.[14]

In the United States House of Representatives, Allensworth is in California's 21st congressional district, represented by Democrat TJ Cox[15]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Allensworth Census Designated Place". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  3. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ U.S. Geologic Survey: STRUCTURAL CONTROL OF INTERIOR DRAINAGE, SOUTHERN SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIFORNIA By George H. Davis and J. H. Green, Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, Calif. "The low point of Tulare Lake Bed is 178 feet above sea level; the divide to the north is 210 feet above sea level" ... "During periods of high runoff, Tulare Lake would fill to an elevation of 210 feet and would discharge north to the San Joaquin River and thence to the Pacific Ocean. Playas or salt flats did not form because through-flowing water periodically flushed out accumulated salt."
  5. ^ Gudde, Erwin; William Bright (2004). California Place Names (4th ed.). University of California Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-520-24217-3.
  6. ^ Historic Tulare County: A Sesquicentennial History, 1852-2002, By Chris Brewer, page 28, and nearby.
  7. ^ a b Natural Resource Projects Inventory (NRPI) Catalog - Allensworth Ecological Reserve Restoration Project
  8. ^ Checklist of Birds of Pixley National Wildlife Refuge
  9. ^ a b "Allensworth, California". Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Park Brochure". Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  12. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Allensworth CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "Allensworth School District". Tulare County Office of Education. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "California's 21st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2014.

External links[edit]