Gold, Grizzlies, and Mexican Land Grants


Take a trip back in time to hear John Bidwell recount his adventures in California. You’ll hear about gold mining, grizzly bears, and how he acquired a Mexican land grant. The year is 1858, and John Bidwell is 39 years old. He holds the rank of major in the California Battalion. He has been in California since 1841, and has been living on Rancho Chico for nearly ten years.

Nick Anderson, who portrays John Bidwell at events at Bidwell Mansion, and myself — Nancy Leek — as a lady reporter from San Francisco, will enact an interview with the proprietor of Rancho Chico.

Everything you will hear is either a direct quote from Bidwell or an abridgement of his words. All the incidents really happened to him – no need to make anything up. The only fictional element is the lady reporter. Bidwell was interviewed several times during his life, but not as early as 1858, and not by a lady (as far as I know).

It will be lots of fun! Come to the Chico Museum next Saturday, April 22, at 10 a.m. to hear John Bidwell himself tell his story.

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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