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flag  History of Chico, California, USA

Journey back in time to Chico, California, USA

Visit Chico, California, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Chico, California, USA - Diamond Match Companys Plant Near Chico, California. (1910)  The Barber Neighborhood is a working class residential neighborhood in Chico, Califor

Chico, Butte, CA

The first recorded Europeans arrived in 1832. That same year, approximately 75% of the Indian population in California died from epidemics of disease brought by the Europeans.

In 1848, General John Bidwell, a member of the first covered wagon trains to California, was among several miners who discovered gold on the Feather River. This event sparked a rush of prospectors into the Butte County area. With his riches, Bidwell bought 28,000 acres in both sides of Chico Creek and opened the first store of the Gold Rush (located on the corner of 1st and Main – now Tres Hombres Restaurant). The city of Chico was founded in 1860 and later incorporated in 1872.

There is MUCH more to discover about Chico, California, USA. Read on!

Chico Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Diamond Match Company's Plant Near Chico, California. (1910)
Chico, California, USA

Diamond Match Company's Plant Near Chico, California. (1910)

"The Barber Neighborhood is a working class residential neighborhood in Chico, California, generally south of Little Chico Creek and west of Park avenue. The Barber Neighborhood Association represents the interests of the neighborhood to the community. This neighborhood was originally the settlement of Barber, California built to house the employees of the adjacent Diamond Match Factory. The neighborhood was named after Ohio Columbus Barber, president of the Diamond Match Company. The neighborhood lies at an elevation of 190 feet (58 m). Today, the area is entirely within the city limits of Chico, and the Diamond Match property is designated for a future development called Barber Yard." (wikipedia)
Cherry Tree, 60 years old, Chico Rancho, Chico, Cal. (1915)
Chico, California, USA

Cherry Tree, 60 years old, Chico Rancho, Chico, Cal. (1915)
Willard Motel, Shasta Highway (U.S. 99E) 1 Mile No. of City LImits, Chico, Cal.
Chico, California, USA

Willard Motel, Shasta Highway (U.S. 99E) 1 Mile No. of City LImits, Chico, Cal.
"A Motel for Commercial Men"

Discover Chico: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1860 - Chico is settled

January 8, 1872 - Chico is incorporated

1895 - Chico
Chico, chee'ko, a post-village of Butte co, Cal., on the Oregon division of the Central Pacific Railroad, 96 miles N. of Sacramento, and on Chico Creek, 6 miles E. of the Sacramento River. It has 2 banks, 6 churches, a graded and a state normal school, a foundry, a machine-shop, and manufactures of carriages, flour, soap, ploughs, sash, doors, &c. Two daily and 2 weekly newspapers are published here. Pop. in 1890, 2894.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Chico, Cal., March 24. - The Star theater here was gutted by fire this morning. The blaze started by a moving picture machine. Several stores in the vicinity were badly damaged.

San Jose Mercury News
San Jose, California
March 24, 1908
Chico, chee'ko, a banking city of Butte co., Cal., on the Southern Pacific R., 96 miles N. of Sacramento. It has fruit and canning industries, manufactures of hay- presses, etc. Gold is mined in the vicinity. Chico is the teat of a state normal school. Pop. in 1890, 2894 ; in 1900, 2640.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
Chico, Cal., Aug. 12. - (AP) - The main building of the State Teachers College of Chico was destroyed tonight by fire said to have started with an explosion. The loss was estimated at $500,000, with $300,000 for the building and $200,000 for the library and other equipment.

MRS. L. G. FAULKNER, who lives across the street from the school, said the flames burst out about 8 o'clock following an explosion which she both heard and felt. The fire swept rapidly through the old three-story structure, flames shooting high in the air, lighting up the whole town of Chico, and being visible from Durham, five miles away.

Firemen were handicapped by lack of ladders reaching to the top of the building, and by 9 o'clock had abandoned efforts to save the structure.
Modesto News Herald
Modesto, California
August 13, 1927
1953 - August 29 - KHSL TV channel 12 in Chico, CA (CBS) begins broadcasting
It is illegal to build, maintain, or use a nuclear weapon within Chico, California city limits.
A law that began in the '80s as a serious anti-nuke statement has taken on a second life as an Internet joke, mainly due to the purported consequences - In addition to self-annihilation, the infraction also carries a $500 fine.
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Chico:
Bidwell Park:

This is a must-visit. It's one of the largest municipal parks in the nation and offers hiking, biking, and horse trails.

Lower Bidwell Park has One-Mile Recreation Area with picnic spots, swimming areas, and the charming Sycamore Pool.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.:

If you're a beer enthusiast, Sierra Nevada is a pilgrimage. Take a brewery tour and enjoy their vast selection of craft beers.

The taproom and restaurant are excellent, offering delicious food to complement your brew.

Chico State University Farm:

Take a tour of the University Farm, where you can learn about sustainable agriculture and get up close with farm animals.

They often host events, so check their schedule for anything interesting happening during your visit.

Chico Certified Farmers' Market:

Held every Saturday morning, it's a great place to explore local produce, crafts, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

National Yo-Yo Museum:

Chico is home to the National Yo-Yo Museum. ... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Chico Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Chico, California, USA

We currently have information about 2 ancestors who were born or died in Chico.

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Genealogy Resources for Chico

Our Chico Gift Ideas

Buy it NOW!Proud Descendant of the USA Coffee Mug - 11oz Ceramic

"My ancestors came from the USA. That explains a lot about my love for Thanksgiving, parades, and believing that ketchup is a vegetable!"   Pinterest   
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Updated: 10/11/2023 6:01:27 PM