Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
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.
A Brief History of the Bidwell's
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.
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. It is currently open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11am-3pm.
Bidwell Mansion is open Saturday through Monday. Tours are scheduled every hour beginning at 11:00 am with the last tour at 4:00 pm.
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.
Adults 18+: $6
Youth 5-17: $3
Children 4 and under: Free