Bidwell Mansion

History

Historical Timelines
Chronological Eras
Information Tables
General Interest Maps
Glossary
History Quizzes

nav

Travel and History Blog


Follow OregonCoastMag on Twitter

Share

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park is located in Chico, California and is a beautiful, three-story, 26-room Victorian House Museum. It is a memorial to John and Annie Bidwell.

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

The Bidwell's were married in April 1868 in Washington, D.C., with then-President Andrew Johnson and future President Ulysses S. Grant, among the guests at the wedding.

Upon arrival in Chico, the Bidwell's constructed the mansion which featured the most modern plumbing, gas lighting, and water system. The building has the style of an Italian Villa, and the exterior is finished with pink-tinted plaster.

The Bidwell’s used the mansion extensively for entertaining. Among the guests, at certain times, included President Rutherford B. Hayes, General William T. Sherman, Susan B. Anthony, Frances Willard, Governor Leland Stanford, John Muir, and Asa Gray.

Today the Bidwell Mansion has a Visitor Center which presents a gift shop, museum, and theater.