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

Rancho Del Arroyo Chico

 
 
Rancho Del Arroyo Chico Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 8, 2010
1. Rancho Del Arroyo Chico Marker
Inscription. A vast expanse covering 26,000 acres, Rancho Chico was purchased in 1849-50 by John Bidwell. In 1865 he began construction of the mansion nearby, which in time became the social and cultural center of the upper Sacramento Valley. It was through his advancement of agriculture, however, that Bidwell made his greatest contribution. The introduction here of plants from all over the world opened the door to California’s present agricultural treasure house.
 
Erected 1966 by California State Park Commission and Historical Groups of Butte County. (Marker Number 329.)
 
Location. 39° 43.978′ N, 121° 50.595′ W. Marker is in Chico, California, in Butte County. Marker can be reached from Esplanade near Memorial Way. Touch for map. Marker is located at the entrance to the parking area for the 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 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Life and Times of John Bidwell (within shouting distance of this marker); Chico World War I Memorial
Rancho Del Arroyo Chico Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 8, 2010
2. Rancho Del Arroyo Chico Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); General John and Annie K. Bidwell Gravesite (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chico Cemetery G.A.R. Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); United States Submarine Crews Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Chico Forestry Station and Nursery (approx. 2 miles away); Chico Elks Lodge No. 423 Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chico.
 
More about this marker. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No.329 on August 8, 1939.
 
Regarding Rancho Del Arroyo Chico. In 1841 John Bidwell was one of the first white settlers who made their way to California over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He eventually went to work for John Sutter and personally carried the first gold discovered at Sutter’s Mill to San Francisco to be assayed.

In 1848 he made his own gold discovery near the Middle Fork of the Feather River. He mined and sold supplies to other miners. By 1850 he had purchased more than 30,000 acres, built a store, a hotel, post office, and flour mill, and in 1860 he helped
The Bidwell Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 8, 2010
3. The Bidwell Mansion
lay out the town which he named Chico. Three years later Governor Leland Stanford made him a Brigadier General in the California State Militia.

From 1865 to 1866. Bidwell served as a Representative in the US Congress.. He introduced legislation which led to the completion of the California and Oregon Railroad. By 1870, the railroad’s tracks ran through his rancho and the town of Chico. While in Washington, DC he met Annie Ellicott Kennedy, and the two were married on April 16, 1868.

The Chico home that John Bidwell shared with his wife Annie became the social center for the area’s society and political gatherings from 1868 to 1918. President and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes, Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman and Naturalist John Muir were some of the prominent people that were guests at their home.

Until his death in 1900, Bidwell worked to build an agricultural showplace. Wheat and flour production enabled him to finance ventures in specialty crops such as casaba melon, California’s first commercial raisin crops, and almonds and olive varieties bear his name.
 
Also see . . .
1. Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. John Bidwell was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth Congress (March 4, 1865-March 3, 1867) and he served as chairman of the Committee on Agriculture. (Submitted on April 9, 2010.) 

2. Biography of John Bidwell
The Bidwell Mansion - North Side image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 8, 2010
4. The Bidwell Mansion - North Side
. (Submitted on April 9, 2010.)
3. Discovering John Bidwell. Two Chico State University Historians on the Trail of a Pioneer. (Submitted on April 9, 2010.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureLandmarksNotable BuildingsNotable Places
 
The Bidwell Mansion - Rear View image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 8, 2010
5. The Bidwell Mansion - Rear View
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 9, 2010, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,343 times since then and 81 times this year. Last updated on December 22, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 9, 2010, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
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