#48 Begin at the Beginning

Born in 1819, John Bidwell led the first overland expedition to California when he was 22. When he struck gold on the Feather River near Oroville,he bought 26,000 acres beside Chico Creek, and in 1860 founded Chico.

In 1868, after having served two years as a Washington congressman, he and Annie Kennedy were married with President Johnson attending.

Soon the Bidwells moved to Chico and worked in many causes including Indian education and women’s suffrage. Mr. Bidwell was also an amateur horticulturist, and planted many varieties of trees and shrubs on his vast land holdings and around the community.

The Bidwells entertained prominent Americans, including Susan B. Anthony and John Muir, until Bidwell died in 1900 and Annie in 1918.

In 1887 Bidwell donated the land for the state teacher’s college that later became CSUC; and Bidwell Park, about a mile east of the mansion, was donated to the city by Annie in 1905.

The three-story mansion is furnished with Victorian pieces, many having belonged to the Bidwells. The carriage house stores four of Bidwell’s carriages.

The mansion is home to many annual events including a Christmas Open House each December. Next to the mansion is a visitor center offering displays, a gift shop, and a 25-minute movie of this generous, progressive couple.

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
525 Esplanade • 530-895-6144
Sat.-Sun. 11-4, Mon. 12-4

Highlights In Chico California

African Connection
Aicora Gems
Art Etc
Art House
Basque Norte
Baywood Real Estate
Bird In Hand
Blue Moon
Boba Tea
Bobbies Boutique
Butte College
Butte Regional Transit B-Line
Century 21 Select Real Estate
Century21 Alice Zeissler
Century21 Teresa Larso
Chico Antique Center
Chico Antique Page
Chico Art Center
Chico Chamber
Chico Paper Co
Chico Performances
Country Squyres
Dahlmeier Insurance
Diamond W
Dicovery Shop American Cancer Society
Eighth and Main
Eighth n Main Antiques
Far West Heritage Association
Fifth St Clothing