Christmas with the Bidwells — 2022

Live events are back at Bidwell Mansion!

After a two year hiatus, the Bidwell Mansion Association invited members and guests to enjoy “Christmas with the Bidwells” live and in person at Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park. The evening featured dramatic and comic vignettes performed in the Mansion dining room, all based on historical accounts.

Evening Plans: Two maids, played by Christine Buckstead and Sierra Lawler discuss their plans for the evening with their beaus. Will it be a delightful musical farce at the Armory Opera House, or a dance at the Knights of Pythias Hall?


Nicholas Dawson (Mike Swann) from Texas, introduces his wife, Margaret Dawson (Heather Rayann), to Annie Bidwell (Robyn Engel).

John Bidwell and Nick Dawson had been young men in the Bidwell-Bartleson Party, the first emigrant wagon train to set out for California. They successfully reached Sutter’s Fort in November 1841.

Tales of the Trails. John Bidwell (Nick Anderson) and his guest Nicholas “Cheyenne” Dawson (Mike Swann) regale Mrs. Dawson and Mrs. Bidwell with stories of their adventures on the overland trail. Which is worse: mule meat or coyote windpipe?

The cast poses in front of the grand Christmas tree. Left to right: Christine Buckstead, Mike Swann, Nick Anderson, Robyn Engel, Sierra Lawler, and Nancy Leek (the cook). (Heather Rayann not shown.)

A librarian in her natural habitat. The author, dressed as the cook, in the Bidwell’s library.

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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1 Response to Christmas with the Bidwells — 2022

  1. John Gallardo says:

    Outstanding! Thank you for your excellent portrayals!

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