1848: California becomes U.S. territory.

1849: Gold Rush. Manoah Pence arrives in California.

1850: Butte County is created. California becomes 31st state.

1856: Sophia Chase (pictured right) arrives in California. Messilla Valley School—originally called the Oregon School—is built.

1857: Manoah and Sophia get married.

1859: Watt Pence born.

1860: John Bidwell founds Chico.

1861: Civil War breaks out, lasts until 1865.

1863: After murders of white children, settlers move Indians onto the Round Valley Reservation. Of 461 Indians who left Chico area, 277 survived the “trail of tears.”

1864: Pence applies for post office; it gets spelled wrong in Washington, D.C.: Pentz. The post office operates until 1912.

1872: Chico incorporates as city.

1879: Messilla Valley School (pictured above) moves to the site where the Pence Hotel now stands. The school operates until 1964.

1880: President Hayes (pictured right), General Sherman speak on the front porch of the Pence Hotel.

1882: Manoah Pence dies.

1892: Sophia and Watt Pence (pictured left) move off the Pence Ranch.

1940s: Clayton Gunn Sr. buys ranch from Chico Meat Co. for $100,000 plus stock in Tucker Autos, which was worth nothing.

1990: Messilla Valley School moved to Pete Schwede and Becky Woods’ property on the west side of Messilla Valley Road.

2002: School relocated to Concow, being restored

by Yankee Hill Historical Society.

2005: Dale Dunlap buys Pence Hotel from Clayton Gunn.

2006: Lyn Batt buys hotel from father, buys land where Messilla Valley School once stood. Moves hotel onto that land.