About Bidwell Mansion
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. John Bidwell was known throughout California and across the nation as an important pioneer, farmer, soldier, statesman, politician and philanthropist. Annie Ellicott Kennedy Bidwell, the daughter of a socially prominent, high ranking Washington official, was deeply religious, and committed to a number of moral and social causes. Annie was very active in the suffrage and prohibition movements.
The Bidwell's were married April 16, 1868 in Washington, D.C. with then President Andrew Johnson and future President Ulysses S. Grant among the guests. Upon arrival in Chico, the Bidwell's used the Mansion extensively for entertainment of friends. Some of the guests that visited Bidwell Mansion were President Rutherford B. Hayes, General William T. Sherman, Susan B. Anthony, Frances Willard, Governor Stanford, John Muir, and Asa Gray.
When constructed, Bidwell Mansion featured the most modern plumbing, gas lighting and water systems. The overall style of the three-story brick structure is that of an Italian Villa, an informal, warmly romantic style. The building's exterior is finished with a pink tinted plaster.
Bidwell Mansions State Historic Park’s Visitor Center is open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10am to 3pm.
Indoor tours of the mansion are provided on a first come, first served basis, and are offered Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:00am, 1:00 pm and 3:00pm.
Tour sizes are currently capped at eight persons, and masks or face-shields must be worn to enter the mansion.
Location - Directions
The Mansion is located at 525 Esplanade.
From Highway 99: Take East First Avenue exit and head west. Turn Left on Esplanade. The park is located on the right hand side of the road at Memorial Way and Esplanade.
From Highway 5: Take Highway 32 exit at Orland east 20 miles to West Sacramento Avenue. Turn left (east) onto West Sacramento Avenue to The Esplanade where you turn right (south).
Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing
Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised. The mansion is temperature controlled.
Tours consist of three floors of Bidwell Mansion, including approximately 50 stairs. The first floor of Bidwell Mansion is accessible via an exterior ramp. The two upper levels are only accessible by stairs. For visitors unable to climb stairs, an open-captioned video of the 2nd and 3rd floors may be viewed in the Visitor Center.
The Visitor Center is completely accessible. It includes restrooms, water fountain, a lobby, a museum store, an exhibit hall and a theater.