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Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park

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Title: Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Chico, California, Henry W. Cleaveland, History of Chico, California, Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve, California State Historic Parks
Collection: 1972 Establishments in California, Buildings and Structures in Chico, California, California Historical Landmarks, California State Historic Parks, Historic American Buildings Survey in California, Historic House Museums in California, Houses in Butte County, California, Houses on the National Register of Historic Places in California, Italianate Architecture in California, Italianate Architecture in the United States, Museums in Butte County, California, Parks in Butte County, California, Protected Areas Established in 1972, Victorian Architecture in California, Villas in the United States, Visitor Attractions in Chico, California
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park

Bidwell Mansion State Historical Park
Bidwell Mansion 2006
Location 525 Esplanade, Chico, California
Built 1865
Architect Henry W. Cleaveland
Architectural style Italianate, Italian Villa, Octagon house
NRHP Reference # 72000216
CHISL # 329[1]
Added to NRHP 1972

Bidwell Mansion, located at 525 Esplanade in Chico, California, was the home of General John Bidwell and Annie Bidwell from the late 1868 until 1900, when Gen. Bidwell died. Annie continued to live there until her death in 1918. John Bidwell began construction of the mansion on his 26,000 acres (110 km²) Rancho del Arroyo Chico in 1865, during his courtship of Annie Ellicott Kennedy. After their marriage in 1868, the three story, 26 room Victorian house became the social and cultural center of the upper Sacramento Valley. Now a museum and State Historic Park, it is California Historical Landmark #329[1] and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion was a $60,000 project, and was finished in May 1868.[2]

When constructed, Bidwell Mansion featured modern plumbing, gas lighting and water systems. The three-story brick structure is built in an informally romantic version of the Italianate style. It also has aspects of the Italian Villa and Octagon house types present. The building's exterior is finished with a pink tinted plaster.

The first floor of the Bidwell Mansion is accessible via a ramp from the exterior of the Mansion. The interior of the entire mansion can be seen during an hour-long tour that starts on the hour most days of the week. A video is available in the visitor center for those who can not climb the 50 stairs to the 2nd and 3rd floors of the mansion.

The Bidwell Mansion Visitor Center is completely accessible. There is a gift shop, museum, theater, and comfortable lobby. There are also restrooms and water.


  • Trivia 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


  • Some of the interior scenes from The Thin Man were shot inside the mansion.
  • From 1925-1935, Bidwell Mansion was once again transformed into another entity when it served as a dormitory for Chico State Teachers College students. It is mentioned by local historians that the students studied and dressed in the rooms, but actually slept outside on the surrounding verandas. The mansion was later dubbed "Bidwell Hall" and housed the Art and Home Economics departments.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Bidwell Mansion". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  2. ^ Chico: A 20th Century Pictoral History

External links

  • Bidwell Mansion SHP web site
  • Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. CA-1317, "Bidwell Mansion, 525 Esplanade, Chico, Butte County, CA", 10 measured drawings, 10 data pages
  • Wikimapia location of Bidwell Mansion
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