Monthly Archives: May 2015

More Fun with Demographics

In 1850, two years after John Bidwell discovered gold in the Feather River, the population of Butte County was 3574 (according to figures in Mansfield’s History of Butte County). Ten years later, the population had quadrupled to 12,106. 20% were … Continue reading

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Fun with Demographics

I have been looking at the 1860 Federal Census for Butte County. I accessed it at a website called, a division of Fold3 focuses on military records, but for some reason it is the only place I found … Continue reading

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The Lemm Ranch Murders

An attack on six Chinese workers on the Lemm Ranch shocked the citizens of Chico and brought infamy to the town. The Lemm Ranch was located near today’s intersection of Highway 32 and Forest Avenue. On the night of March … Continue reading

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Chinese Workers Strike

John Bidwell always had a need for workers — lots of workers, both skilled and unskilled. He had a diverse workforce — whites predominated, but he also had Indians, Mexicans and the occasional African-American.  Bidwell was willing to employ anyone … Continue reading

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The Chinese in Chico

The attitude toward the Chinese in California was one of ambivalence. Employers liked getting labor at low cost. Middle-class families that employed Chinese domestic servants could hardly do without them. And everyone in town turned out to watch the colorful … Continue reading

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The Chinese in Butte County — and a Correction

Correction:  In reading the census tables, I thought Butte County had the highest percentage of Chinese residents in the state, but that honor goes to Trinity County. Although small in population, Trinity County had the largest proportion of Chinese miners … Continue reading

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Chinese-American History in Chico

Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park is giving thematic tours on the Chinese in California during the month of May. If you are interested, check out the dates and times here.  I took the tour last Saturday and came away with … Continue reading

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