Location - Directions
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).
The Mansion is located at 525 Esplanade. The
Visitor Center is open Mon. 12-5 and Sat. & Sun. 11-5. Tours start
at 12:00pm Monday and 11:00am on Saturday and Sunday. Tours are
generally held every hour, with the last group leaving at 4:00pm.
Latitude/Longitude: 39.7423 / -121.8478
located at 525 Esplanade in Chico, California, was the home of
General John Bidwell and Annie Bidwell from the late 1868 until
1900, when Gen. Bidwell died. Annie continued to live there
until her death in 1918. John Bidwell began construction of
the mansion on his 26,000 acres Rancho del Arroyo Chico in 1865,
during his courtship of Annie Ellicott Kennedy. After their
marriage in 1868, the three story, 26 room Victorian house became
the social and cultural center of the upper Sacramento Valley.
Now a museum and State Historic Park, it is California Historical
Landmark #329 and is listed on the National Register of Historic
Places. The mansion was a $60,000 project, and was finished in
When constructed, Bidwell Mansion featured modern
plumbing, gas lighting and water systems. The three-story brick
structure is built in an informally romantic version of the
Italianate style. It also has aspects of the Italian Villa and
Octagon house types present. The building's exterior is finished
with a pink tinted plaster.
The first floor of the Bidwell Mansion is
accessible via a ramp from the exterior of the Mansion. The interior
of the entire mansion can be seen during an hour long tour that
starts on the hour most days of the week. A video is available in
the visitor center for those who can not climb the 50 stairs to the
2nd and 3rd floors of the mansion.
The Bidwell Mansion Visitor Center is completely
accessible. There is a gift shop, museum, theater, and comfortable
lobby. There are also restrooms and water.