11 Images


Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park originally was a town started for blacks by retired Army chaplain Lt. Col. Allen Allensworth. In the years after its founding in 1908, the town of Allensworth drew more than 300 families, fervent believers in self-reliance. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
Levi Riordan, 13, holds a flashlight for his father Mark while repairing his truck. Town supporters are fighting a plan to build a dairy farm across the tracks from the Allensworth park, saying foul odors and flies will plague the remote spot and dishonor a noble experiment in self-determination. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
Allensworth resident Fermin Neri, who is opposed to the dairy farm, waits for the hearing to begin outside the County of Tulare Administrative Building in Visalia. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
Audience members listen to Tulare County supervisors discuss a 12,000-cow dairy operation sought for a site near the park. Backers say the facilities wouldn’t pollute. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
Ramel Santiel sits on his front porch as he talks to his grandmother in the town of Allensworth. The original settlement was started in 1908 by a former slave and retired Army chaplain and was run by African Americans. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
Carolina Ayon, 5, plays outside the community center in Allensworth, where a 12,000-cow dairy operation is proposed near a state historic park. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
Mark Riordan repairs his truck in Allensworth. Supporters of the dairy say the new operation would create 60 jobs and give a $20 million economic boost to what is now a job-hungry rural area. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
The sun sets behind a church in the town of Allensworth north of Bakersfield. The original Allensworth is now is a state historic park, cherished by families and church groups who see it as a hardscrabble monument to California’s black history. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
Morris Moton, who drove down from Oakland, wipes his head during gathering in Allensworth. The Tulare County supervisors voted to put off a decision for at least two weeks on a proposed 12,000-cow dairy operation a mile away from the town and right next to a state historic park. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
Carlos Ramirez, 11, plays basketball under a rising moon at his house in present-day Allensworth, an unincorporated, impoverished community next to the state historic park. (Wally Skalij / LAT)
A dog stands in the middle of a dirt road in the town of Allensworth north of Bakersfield, part of which is now a state historic park. A 12,000-cow dairy operation is proposed for the property just across from the original Allensworth settlement. (Wally Skalij / LAT)