Fun Fact #59
In 2005, Bidwell Park turned 100 years old.

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Historical: Victorian Homes

-- Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park, 525 Esplanade, Chico. Chico was founded in the late 1800's by John and Annie Bidwell. John founded Chico in 1860 after buying 28,000 acres with money from a land grant sale and gold he discovered on the Feather River prior to the Gold Rush. Construction of the 26-room mansion began in 1865. The Bidwells entertained prominent Americans, including Susan B. Anthony and John Muir. The 3-story mansion is furnished with Victorian pieces, many of them having belonged to the Bidwells. The carriage house stores four of Bidwell's carriages. Their home, located near downtown, is one of several historical homes of the era that has been preserved and restored. The Bidwell Mansion is a museum and tours are available taking you back in time to when Chico was nothing more than a pioneer town. Tours are conducted: Wed - Fri 12 pm to 5 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am to 5 pm. Tours & Tickets: Every hour on the hour, lasting approximately 50 minutes, $2 US. Group tours also available, call for a reservation (530) 895-5144. -- Stansbury Home, 307 W. 5th St., Chico, was built by Dr. & Mrs. Oscar Stansbury in 1883. The statuesque home was designed in the Italianate Victorian style, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since family members lived in the residence until 1974, it is one of the most original and unaltered Victorian homes in California. Open 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Special tours can be arranged. Cost is $2 for adults; students, $1; under 10 free. Call (530) 895-3848. -- C.F. Lott Historic Home, 1067 Montgomery St., Oroville, is a Victorian gothic revival style cottage. Built in 1856, it serves as a cultural repository for decorative art objects typically found in Oroville's pioneer family homes. The collection includes furniture paintings, rugs, textiles, clothes, silver and glassware of the period, 1849-1910. The home was built by Charles Fayette Lott who had joined a wagon train bound for California in 1849. Also on the premises is the Sank Park - an old-fashioned garden. Included are a rose garden, an herb garden, brick walks, fountains, a gazebo and a covered patio which provide spaces for a variety of community uses. Home open 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sun., Mon., & Fri. Closed Dec. 15-Jan. 31. Park open 9 a.m.-9p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sun. Cost for home tour is $2, children under 12 free. Group Tour reservation ($1.50 per person). Call (530) 538-2497 for more information.


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