The Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA) has a Emigrant Hall of Fame, and John Bidwell is joining it this year.
Last year I submitted an application for him on behalf of the Bidwell Mansion Association. I recently got the welcome news that JB is in! He joins a small and select group of trail pioneers in the Hall of Fame: Jesse Applegate, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, and Dr. John McLoughlin. (Note that these are all Oregon pioneers. John Bidwell is the first Californian.) He will be honored at the OCTA convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 4-7, 2019.
The Hall of Fame also honors preservationists, authors, philanthropists, and public officials who have worked to preserve the western trails and educate the public about the history and value of these historical resources. OCTA began the Hall of Fame in 2015.
What qualifies John Bidwell for the Emigrant Hall of Fame? He was not only a member of the first group of emigrants to set out overland for California, but it is because he kept such a detailed daily journal that we know so much about their route, their struggles, and their adventures.
The Oregon-California Trails Association is a non-profit, 501 (C) (3) Association and is the nation’s largest and most influential organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of overland emigrant trails and the emigrant experience. They publish the Overland Journal, a quarterly full of interesting articles about western history. Their website also has many valuable resources, some of which you can only access by becoming a member. It’s worth it!