How this map was developed
This map of the historic Bidwell townsite was developed by Charles W. Smay from deed information obtained at the Butte County Recorders office. During the 1853 -1860 time period individuals claims to land was described by a system called meets and bounds. This involved references to natural physical features, other adjacent owners or buildings. A sample page of typical meets and bounds deed descriptions it shown on the Reference page to illustrate how this information appeared in the deeds.The map was created through the time consuming process of trial and error by writing the deed information on small post-it-notes and moving the various deed descriptions until a location was found that matched all the described adjacent property.
The original map of the town of Bidwell that was filed at the County Recorder's Office at the town of Bidwell in 1853 has not been located. Fortunately, the courthouse was not burned in the 1854 town destroying fire, so unlike many early mining towns the county records survived. The original records were moved by the Sheriff of Butte County to the new county seat at Oroville in 1856. However, several subsequent moves of official county records have resulted in the misplacement or loss of historically significant records. Efforts are being made by the Butte County Recorders Office to recover and inventory records that can be relocated. Perhaps some future researcher will have the good fortune to locate a copy of the original town map of Bidwell.