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Chico in Butte County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Life and Times of John Bidwell

An Amazing Life and Legacy

 
 
The Life and Times of John Bidwell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 8, 2010
1. The Life and Times of John Bidwell Marker
Inscription. John Bidwell was born on the east coast to a poor farming family in 1819. In spite of these modest roots, he would eventually become a key figure in California history, one famous for being a true pioneer, a statesman, politician, prohibitionist, and philanthropist.

Over the course of his life, John Bidwell struck it rich by finding a substantial amount of gold, participated in the Bear Flag Revolt, lobbied in Washington D.C. for California’s statehood, achieved valuable advances in agriculture, and founded the town of Chico, California. He was even nominated for U.S. President.

1841 — Ambitious and determined 22-year old John Bidwell crossed the Sierra Nevada, and arrives in California with the dream of starting a farm.

1848 — Eureka! John Bidwell finds gold on the Feather River.

1849 ~ 51 — Bidwell purchases more than 26,000 acres of land, including “Rancho del Arroyo Chico.”

1860 — The Town of Chico is laid out by John Bidwell.

1863 — Working with an architect, Bidwell creates plans for his 26-room mansion.

1865 — John Bidwell travels to Washington D.C. to serve a term in the House of Representatives. While there, he meets a Presbyterian activist, Annie Ellicott Kennedy.

1868
The Life and Times of John Bidwell image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 8, 2010
2. The Life and Times of John Bidwell
These two markers are located in front of the Bidwell Mansion. The Historic Home of Annie and John Bidwell marker is on the right. This marker is on the left.
— The mansion is finished. John and Annie are married in Washington D.C.
 
Erected 2008 by California State Parks.
 
Location. 39° 43.964′ N, 121° 50.608′ W. Marker is in Chico, California, in Butte County. Marker can be reached from Esplanade near Memorial Way. Click for map. Marker is located near the entrance to the Visitors Center at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 525 Esplanade, Chico CA 95926, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Historic Home of Annie and John Bidwell (here, next to this marker); Rancho Del Arroyo Chico (within shouting distance of this marker); Chico World War I Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); General John and Annie K. Bidwell Gravesite (approx. 0.4 miles away); Chico Cemetery G.A.R. Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); United States Submarine Crews Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Chico Forestry Station and Nursery (approx. 2 miles away); Chico Elks Lodge No. 423 Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chico.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Prior to immigrating to California as part of one of the first wagon trains West,
John Bidwell image. Click for full size.
3. John Bidwell
Photo displayed on marker.
John Bidwell lived in Ohio. The town of Bidwell in Gallia County, Ohio is named for him.
 
Also see . . .
1. 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. (Submitted on April 10, 2010.) 

2. John Bidwell - He Beat the Rush. The Sierra Nevada Virtual Museum details John Bidwell’s life in California. Also his diary is quoted giving details of the difficulties he encountered while traveling west. (Submitted on May 18, 2010.) 
 
Categories. Notable PersonsNotable Places
 
Annie Bidwell image. Click for full size.
4. Annie Bidwell
Photo displayed on marker.

“Day so lovely I passed a couple of hours in the grounds, and as the sun lowered, went to the glass room in tower for an hour, to enjoy grand scenery and sun-warmth.”
̶ Annie Bidwell
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,764 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   3, 4. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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