National Register of Historic Places in Butte County
John Bidwell was one of the leaders, in 1841, of the first American overland company arriving in California with the expressed purpose of settlement.
Employed for a time by John Sutter at Sutter's Fort, Bidwell early became prominent in the affairs of California. He was a signatory of the first State Constitution in 1849, a State Senator and later in life a candidate for President of the United States.
He acquired much property, the most extensive being Rancho Chico which he purchased from the original Mexican grantees. On this ranch he founded the Town of Chico in 1860.
The Bidwell Mansion is a fine example of the Italian Villa style of architecture. Fanciful milIwork details of the interior and exterior adorn a sturdy wall bearing masonry structure. The architect responsible for the original design was a Mr.Henry W. Clearland of San Francisco.
Source: Excerpted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1972.