January 26, 2015

Alice C. Royal

January 15, 1923 - December 9, 2014

Riley and Sadie went to Sadie's parents’ retirement home when it came time for the birth of their little girl. It was here in the middle bedroom of this small home built by her grandfather and his neighbor that Alice C. Royal came into the world on January 15, 1923.  Her grandparents James and Alice Hackett were one of the first families to move to Allensworth; California's first town built, financed, and governed by African Americans.

In her 2008 book, Allensworth, The Freedom Colony Ms Royal talks about living in Allensworth when she was seven and eight years old.
“I was a second and third grader in the Allensworth School in the early 1930s. I remember the big dictionary and the potbellied stove, playing hopscotch and jump rope with the other girls. Aunt Grace always went early to ring the school bell. Older boys like my brother Edward would bring wood for the potbellied stove. Everyone had duties: some would erase blackboards, some would fill inkwells, somebody else would do something with the blotters. Everyone was involved in the process.”        
“At nighttime, Aunt Grace would take us by the hand and we’d walk from the Hackett home to other parts of Allensworth. Everyone knew everyone, and respected Aunt Grace, the teacher.  We’d learn about celestial bodies – look up, you’d see a star or maybe a shooting star or a half-moon. I remember the sights and sounds of animals early in the morning.”
She has always been an advocate of Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Before there was a park she served on the Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Advisory Committee; the group that led the charge to establish the park.   From its inception she has supported the Friends of Allensworth. She waged a successful campaign to include the story of Allensworth in California’s fourth grade social studies texts.  She was ever present at special events at the park. Always with a line of visitors waiting to have a few minutes to ask her questions or have their picture taken with her. In the words of George PIlling she was the benevolent queen of the park.

On December 9, 2014, Ms. Alice C. Royal crossed over to that land where there is no more crying and no more pain; a land where the streets are paved in gold.  The family held a private graveside service at the Hanford District cemetery on December 18, 2014.

September 08, 2014

100th Anniversary of Allensworth's Homegoing

Chaplain Allensworth had just stepped off a streetcar in Monrovia when a motorcyclist ran him down. They rushed him to the hospital where doctors worked on him through the night. Unfortunately they could not save him and he died the next day, September 14, 1914.

To mark the 100th Anniversary of Chaplain Allensworth's home going, the city of Monrovia will "commemorate the life and contributions of this American visionary" on Sunday, September 14, 2014.

Speaking during the two hour program are Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, Monrovia City Council members, Friends of Allensworth President Thomas Stratton, Monrovia Historian Steven Baker, and representing the Second Baptist Church former city of Duarte Mayor Lois Gaston. The free program is from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the Monrovia Historical Museum.

For more information contact Susie Ling at shling@pasadena.edu or Thomas Stratton at (855) 645-1255, info@friendsofallensworth.org

Where:  Monrovia Historical Museum
  742 East Lemon Avenue     
  Monrovia, CA 91016

Date:     Sunday, September 14, 2014

Time:     1:30 to 3:30 pm

Cost:      Free

June 07, 2014

Juneteenth Celebration

We are no more aliens to this country or to its institutions than our brothers in white… Together we planted the tree of liberty and watered its roots with our tears and blood, and under its branches we will stay and be sheltered.
-Thomas E. Miller

Martha Yates Jones & Pinkie Yates in a buggy decorated for the annual Juneteenth celebration (c. 1895- 1905)
Joint the Friends of Allensworth Cooperating Association and the California Department of Parks and Recreation as we celebrate Juneteenth. Come enjoy the live entertainment on stage, shop in the vendor area, and tour the historic homes and businesses.

The California Red Tails, one of fourteen Black Pilots of America chapters, will perform a fly over during the Juneteenth celebration.  

When: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park

For more information or to request a vendor application contact Friends of Allensworth President Thomas Stratton at 530-949-2168 or info@friendsofallensworth.org.