Skip to Main Content
Contact Us Search
Parks Title
For Immediate Release: 11/5/2014

View PDF

Time Capsule Found Beneath Historic Marker at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park



Aaron Wright, District Superintendent

(530) 532-3085



CHICO, California.—A time capsule was discovered at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park this week, and it will be opened to view the contents on Saturday November 29.

On the morning of November 4, 2014, a construction crew working for the City of Chico was attempting to relocate a historic marker at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park when the time capsule was found in the foundation base.

In order to complete the City’s sidewalk improvement project, the City of Chico needed to move and relocate the monument by approximately 10 feet from its current location. It was determined that moving the marker the short distance would improve the area for pedestrian traffic and still maintain the integrity and the spirit of the monument.

During the relocation efforts, a small cavity was discovered in the foundation of the marker, with a copper box inside. State Parks officials were notified immediately and the capsule was taken to a safe location.

Its origin is unknown, though the marker under which it was found was placed almost 90 years ago.

On October 16, 1925, the marker was placed at what is now the corner of Sol-Wil-Le-No Avenue and Esplanade (in the south east corner of Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park), by the Pioneer Historic Association of California. It was set there to mark the Oregon Trail and the area of the old adobe built in 1852. The marker was erected to commemorated General and Mrs. Bidwell, pioneers and founders of the City of Chico.

“This was an unexpected surprise to the Park and our community,” said California State Parks Superintendent Aaron Wright. “Time capsules are usually put together with items to represent a snapshot in time, so we are looking forward to see what we find inside.”

California State Parks staff will open the time capsule to reveal its contents on Saturday November 29, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at the Mansion. The public is invited to attend.

Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at

California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.