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History of Chico, California

Chico, California, was founded by General John Bidwell who had a vision of his land becoming a place for travelers to rest on their journeys. It was his ideas that set in motion the layout of the city in 1860. When the California city was plotted, he took it upon himself to name the city after the land where he originally built his home. The name chosen was the Spanish phrase Rancho Arroyo Chico meaning "little stream." Over the years, Chico became a supplier of many agricultural needs for the surrounding areas. The main industry provided is the almond and fruit growth that does very well in the fertile land. An equally important part of the city's economy is the medicinal research facilities and hospitals throughout the city. The California State University at Chico built in 1887 participates in the research and development of the medical supplies. Butte College, a two-year community college, is located midway between Chico and Oroville, California. Historical sites include the Bidwell Mansion, Chico Museum located in the 1904 Carnegie Library, and a vintage train station.