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Chico State Normal School (1887-1921)
  Date(s) Event
Annie & John Bidwell
Annie & John Bidwell



Normal School

Normal School



Class of 1891
Class of 1891











Architectural drawings of model rural school
Model Rural School



Indoor swimming pool
Swimming Pool, ca.1925

March 10, 1887 Legislative act to create the Northern Branch State Normal School of California for the purpose of training and education of teachers in the art of instructing and governing the public schools of the state.
April 8, 1887 Chico is selected as the site for the school. June 24, 1887, General John Bidwell donates eight acres of his cherry orchard and permanent water rights for the school.
April 19, 1887 First Board of Trustees appointed: John Bidwell, F.C. Lusk, J.W.B. Montgomery, L.H. McIntosh, A.H. Crew.
Sept., 1887 Construction begins on a three-story brick building.
July 4, 1888 Cornerstone laid.
April 20, 1889 Normal Board of Trustees appoint the following as first faculty members: Edward T. Pierce, Principal (1889-1893); Carlton M. Ritter, instructor in mathematics; Mrs. Emma Straight, preceptress; Minor L. Seymour, instructor in science; A.E. Garlich, teacher of music.
Sept. 3, 1889 Doors are opened and 90 students are enrolled for the first term.
Jan. 11, 1890 Library officially opens with 350 volumes.
June 20, 1891 First graduating class of 15.
1893 Robert F. Pennell is elected as principal.
March, 1896 First issue of The Normal Record is published.
1897 Carlton M. Ritter is elected as president.
1899 Charles C. Van Liew is elected as president.
1910 Annie E. K. Bidwell donates an additional two acres of land to be used for work with elementary agriculture.
1910 Training school built adjacent to Normal Building.
1911 Annie E. K. Bidwell donates an orange orchard lot 55 x 440 feet as the children's playground, which is connected to the Training School.
1911-1917 Allison Ware is elected and serves as president.
1912 Pleasant Valley Model Rural School of the State Normal School at Chico opens offering courses in manual training, domestic science and art, school agriculture, and physical education.
1913 Little Chico Model Rural School of the State Normal School at Chico opens.
1915 Construction of swimming pool.
1917 Dr. E. I. Miller is elected as Acting President.
1918 C. M. Osenbaugh is elected as President.
1921 Legislative enactment to change the name to Chico State Teacher's College.
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Written and compiled by Mary Ellen Bailey
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