Saving Bidwell Mansion

Welcome to 2012! Here’s hoping that the year ahead will be a happy, healthy, and prosperous one for all of us.

2012 will be an important year for Bidwell Mansion. Either it will be closed by the Department of Parks and Recreation on April 1st, or supporters of Bidwell Mansion will keep it open through their own fund-raising efforts.

You can help to keep the Mansion open. There are two ways to contribute money toward the $100,000 that is needed by March 31st to keep the Mansion open for the coming year. Money can be donated either to the state’s Contingent Fund, or to the Bidwell Mansion Community Project. In both cases money donated will be used to keep the mansion open.

To donate to the Contingent Fund, make out a check to California State Parks with “SAVE THE MANSION” on the memo line.  Mail it to Bidwell Mansion SHP,  525 The Esplanade, Chico, CA 95926.

To donate to the Bidwell Mansion Community Project, make out a check to NVCF (North Valley Community Foundation) and write Bidwell Mansion on the memo line.  Mail to North Valley Community Foundation, 3120 Cohasset Road No. 8, Chico, CA  95973. For more news about the project, check out the website at

Bidwell Mansion is far too important a part of the community of Chico and the history of California to be allowed to close. To quote the Chico News & Review:

“The mansion is the most visible link to Bidwell’s legacy, which includes blazing the California Trail, participating in the Bear Flag Revolt, founding the city of Chico, pioneering agriculture in the state, donating land for the normal school that would become Chico State University, and bringing back California’s statehood papers from Washington, D.C., in 1850. Chicoans have made strong arguments as to the mansion’s significance to California.

“If you wanted to teach children, or adults even, about California history and you were to make up a fictitious character who would be in the right place at the right time for all these significant events, you really couldn’t do better than John Bidwell,” said Amber Drake, guide supervisor at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park. “I’m sad to think that we don’t get to keep telling these kids about the story of their state.”

Don’t let our history fade away!  Please join the Bidwell Mansion Association and the Bidwell Mansion Community Project in saving the mansion for now and forever.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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