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This book offers readers an opportunity to ride the historic Humboldt Wagon Road from Chico to Susanville through images that have been collected since the 1860s. Many never-before-published photographs and oral histories tell a story of people who established what has been called this “small corner of the West.” In the 1850s, John Bidwell, a California pioneer, agriculturist, businessman, and politician, envisioned a freight and passenger route that would connect San Francisco, the Sacramento River, and his newly established community of Chico. He wanted it to cross the mountains to the gold and silver mines in Idaho and Nevada. Bidwell financed, constructed, and opened the road for horses, wagons, stagecoaches, and eventually trucks and automobiles. From the Civil War era until the present, the road has carried everything from lumber to tourists.
About the Author
Marti Leicester, a retired National Park Service ranger, lives on the Humboldt Wagon Road and sees remnants of it each time she drives to Chico and Butte Meadows. David Nopel, a descendant of pioneer families who settled along the road, has hiked the canyons and ridges it crosses and lectured about its history. Over 50 years, John Nopel, David’s father and a noted Butte County historian, painstakingly collected thousands of historic photographs that inspired this book.