Chico Getaway Artist Tours Museums

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park

  • 525 Esplanade, Chico, CA 95926
(530) 895-6144
Visit Website

Bid­well Man­sion State His­toric Park is a beau­ti­ful, three-sto­ry, 26-room Vic­to­ri­an House Muse­um that stands as a memo­r­i­al to John and Annie Bid­well, the founders of the City of Chico. 

When con­struct­ed, Bid­well Man­sion fea­tured the most mod­ern plumb­ing, gas light­ing and water sys­tems. The over­all style of the three-sto­ry brick struc­ture is that of an Ital­ian Vil­la, an infor­mal, warm­ly roman­tic style. The build­ing’s exte­ri­or is fin­ished with a pink tint­ed plaster.

Vis­i­tor Center

Locat­ed on the Man­sion’s grounds, the Vis­i­tor Cen­ter fea­tures a gift shop as well as an exhib­it hall on the his­to­ry of the Bid­wells. The Vis­i­tor Cen­ter is free to vis­it and does­n’t require any reservations.


Bid­well Man­sion is cur­rent­ly open Wednes­days, Sat­ur­days, and Sundays. 

Tours are avail­able at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. The tours are first-come, first-served, with a max­i­mum of 10 peo­ple. Phone reser­va­tions are accept­ed day-of.

The first floor of Bid­well Man­sion is acces­si­ble via an exte­ri­or ramp. The two upper lev­els are only acces­si­ble by stairs. For vis­i­tors unable to climb stairs, an open-cap­tioned video of the 2nd and 3rd floors may be viewed in the Vis­i­tor Center.

A Brief His­to­ry of the Bidwells

John Bid­well was known through­out Cal­i­for­nia and across the nation as an impor­tant pio­neer, farmer, sol­dier, states­man, politi­cian and phil­an­thropist. Annie Elli­cott Kennedy Bid­well, the daugh­ter of a social­ly promi­nent, high rank­ing Wash­ing­ton offi­cial, was deeply reli­gious, and com­mit­ted to a num­ber of moral and social caus­es. Annie was very active in the suf­frage and pro­hi­bi­tion move­ments.

The Bid­well’s were mar­ried April 16, 1868 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. with then Pres­i­dent Andrew John­son and future Pres­i­dent Ulysses S. Grant among the guests. Upon arrival in Chico, the Bid­well’s used the Man­sion exten­sive­ly for enter­tain­ment of friends. Some of the guests that vis­it­ed Bid­well Man­sion were Pres­i­dent Ruther­ford B. Hayes, Gen­er­al William T. Sher­man, Susan B. Antho­ny, Frances Willard, Gov­er­nor Stan­ford, John Muir, and Asa Gray.