A prominent fixture in the center of the city of Chico, the luxurious former home of John and Annie Bidwell is now operated as a state park for all to enjoy. Whether you’re visiting Chico, or a native looking to learn more about your hometown, Bidwell Mansion is a great outing.
Constructed in the 1860s (completed in 1868), the Victorian style home was designed to reflect a new stature by the now Congressman Bidwell, an exit from his previous days living in rough housing like Sutter’s Fort or log cabins into a more gentile life in Victorian society. The couple lived there from their marriage in 1868 through the next thirty-two years.
Go on a guided tour of the mansion, available on weekends and Mondays. Learn about the history of the Bidwells, the home, and the city. The first floor is ADA accessible, and subsequent tour components to inaccessible areas are presented on video to accommodate all guests.
All tours begin at the Visitor’s Center, where you can learn more about the history of the Bidwells and the area. After your tour, stop by the General’s Gift Store for souvenirs, gifts, and more.
Planning a wedding?
The Bidwell Mansion is the perfect backdrop for a romantic wedding and reception. For smaller weddings, you can book the front lawn gazebo. For larger events, the back lawn is the perfect setting with the rose and flower garden in the backdrop. For the reception, head into the Visitor Center Theater or hold the event outdoors.
Discover the past at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
This is also the perfect place for learning, and the friendly guides makes the experience interesting, even for the most jaded history tour taker. School children from around Northern California can enjoy tours and educational programs to learn about the mansion or state historical eras like the Gold Rush.
The mansion has been restored to its authentic 1868-1900 historic period, so you can view the mansion as it was in all its original Victorian glory. Bidwell Mansion is a great place for the entire family to learn about California’s history.
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Next, discover farm-fresh California produce and more at the Chico Certified Farmers Market.