Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is a state park of California, United States, located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The park preserves the historic site of Colton Hall, former residence and office building of George C. Taylor, mining magnate; his wife Mary Averell Harriman; and their son, William A. “Bill” Taylor, whose friendship with President Franklin D. Roosevelt was instrumental in creating the Yosemite National Park.
On November 5, 1940, more than 2,000 guests gathered at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco for the dedication of the new headquarters of the Save Our Children Society. Designed by architect Francis Keally, the two-story red brick building features a projecting four-sided bay covered by a cupola-like roof. The front entrance has three large arches and is recessed beneath a larger architrave. At each corner are smaller recesses housing round towers with flagpoles.
Between these are eight half-domes, one of which contains a clock tower. The main portion of the building measures 42 feet (13m) wide by 60 feet (18m) deep; the wings project nineteen feet (5.3m) beyond the ends of the main portion. The building houses offices and workrooms for the Save Our Children society as well as a ballroom that can be reserved for private events
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is on the west bank of the Sacramento River, 3 miles (4.8km) north of Redding in Shasta County. It is named after William P. Allen-Allensworth, who served as governor of California from 1923 to 1927. The 1,769-acre (694ha) park was established in 1959.
In 1935, during the Great Depression, Bill Taylor hosted many celebrities at his home for parties that were attended by President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Among those he entertained were Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, James Cagney, Joan Fontaine, Hedy Lamarr, and John L. Sullivan. After dinner, they would all go out onto the back porch where Mrs. Roosevelt first revealed she had been secretly serving food to the homeless through an organization called the WPA which employed thousands of unemployed Americans throughout the country. She also told them about the New Deal.
Later, when it came time to light fires for the winter, Bill Taylor built a small cabin near the house where he and his family lived. He used driftwood and other materials found on-site to build the structure, which still stands today. The cabin is registered as California Historical Landmark #1001.