Chico’s famous abode may close

Bidwell Mansion among 70 state parks slated for closure

“Closing state parks is not a task that gives anyone joy, but we are experiencing turbulent times that necessitate deep—almost unthinkable—cuts to public services.”

Those were the words of Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday (May 16), following last week’s announcement of a plan to close up to 70 of the state’s 278 parks in July 2012. The proposed closures are a part of the $11 million in budget cuts necessary for the next fiscal year and $22 million for the year thereafter.

Nearby, Woodson Bridge is on the closure list, as is Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park in Chico. The beautiful Victorian dwelling built by Chico founder John Bidwell is currently home to a visitor center, which operates Saturday through Wednesday, with hourly tours. For more info, visit