Speaker: Nancy Leek
Long-time Chico community contributor and author Nancy Leek will present on her latest book, titled Alvin Coffey: The True Story of an African American Forty-Niner. The book explores slavery during the California Gold Rush through the story of Alvin Coffey, who came to mine for gold in 1849, with a promise from his owner that he could earn money to buy his freedom. In spite of being cheated out of his earnings, he persisted and eventually won freedom for himself and his wife and children. He mined near Shasta City and settled on a farm in Tehama County. His story exemplifies the courage, determination, and hope of black pioneers in California.
Photo courtesy of archives.csuchico.edu/digital/collection
Speaker: John Gallardo
Chico's Stansbury House at W. 5th and Salem Streets is one of a handful of early Chico residential homes that remain today in nearly original form. Medical Doctor Oscar Stansbury arrived in Chico in 1875, and he would build the house in 1883 for his family. The Stansbury's owned the home until 1975, when the family donated 2/3 of the value of the house to the City of Chico. The Stansbury Home Preservation Association was established to maintain and exhibit the interior and grounds of the beautiful house as a museum. John Gallardo began his more than 45 years of contribution to the Preservation Association in 1975, and lived in the home for 20 years as caretaker. Come hear and see with projected imagery the full story of the house from John himself. A Chico History Museum tour of the home in the spring of 2023 is a possibility.
Speaker: Mick Needham
Mick Needham has owned and operated his Needham's Stained Glass Studios at 237 Broadway for nearly fifty years, and through that experience he could be the teller of many Chico stories. But since boyhood, Mick has had a fascination with western American trains, and a visit to his Broadway Studio speaks of his knowledge and collections of all things train. Through his presentation, Mick will highlight the varied history of trains in Butte County, using projected pictures to illustrate his story.
Speaker: Michele Shover
With the August 2022 publication of her book Chico's Chapman, Michele Shover has come full circle with the story of Augustus "Gus" Chapman. When she purchased an older home in Chico in 1976, she heard the house called "The Little Chapman Mansion" and that an early Chico entrepreneur who had developed Chapmantown had lived there. She was curious, and so would begin more than 40 years of research and writing, with Chapman's story leading her into every corner and cranny of Chico's past. She would publish extensively along the way on what she found beyond Chapman's own story, and now with her new book, she can "close the book" on Gus Chapman. She will have her book for sale - come and get a copy "autographed by the author"!
Speaker: Keith Johnson
In the early 1990's, Dr. Keith Johnson was active with the Butte County Historical Society, and the Society received an inquiry about local Civil War monuments. This prompted a look at the striking statue in the Chico Cemetery. Keith will look at who made the monument, and how it has survived more than a century of abuse and deterioration. It is doubtful that anyone from Chico took part in the "real war" back East and through the Midwest. And if that is so, who put the monument in place in the Chico Cemetery? For the answer, hear Dr. Keith Johnson, who logged in 39 years at Chico State in the Anthropology Department, tell the story.
Speaker: Jim Dimmit
In the early years of the 2000s, Jim Dimmitt served as a staff officer with the Chico Police Department. He was struck by the absence of any real summary history for the Department, and began to research through records, examine department artifacts, and talk to people in the know. His book, The Chico Police Department - The First One Hundred Years emerged. Jim is now working in the Roseville area, but will return to Chico to tell us this story, using projected images to highlight and illustrate his presentation. His program will be an appropriate ending to Chico's "CHICO 150" commemoration of 150 years of "city-hood", as the formation of a local police department was a prime reason for the 1872 city incorporation under the State of California. The Chico History Museum will have copies of his book for sale.
11AM to 4PM - Thursday to Sunday
Closed - Monday to Wednesday
$5.00 - Adult ages 18-64
$3.00 - Senior 65+/ Military Veteran/ Student/ Child 5+
FREE - Child under age 5
141 Salem & 2nd St, Downtown Chico, CA 95928
P.O. Box 6988, Chico, CA 95927
A 501 (c) (3) organization.
Special thanks to the City of Chico for its generous support of Chico History Museum.