William B. Ide Adobe
State Historic Park
The mission of the California Department of
Parks and Recreation is to provide for the
health, inspiration and education of the
people of California by helping to preserve
the state’s extraordinary biological diversity,
protecting its most valued natural and
cultural resources, and creating opportunities
for high-quality outdoor recreation.
Escape back in time and
experience the sights and
sounds of the California
frontier at an 1852 adobe
California State Parks supports equal access.
Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who
need assistance should contact the park at
(530) 529-8599. This publication is available
in alternate formats by contacting:
CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
states of California.™
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001
For information call: (800) 777-0369
711, TTY relay service
Discover the many states of California.™
Discover the many states of California.™
William B. Ide Adobe SHP
21659 Adobe Road
Red Bluff, CA 96080
© 2008 California State Parks
Printed on Recycled Paper
the banks of the peaceful
A t the northern end of
The first non-native
the Sacramento Valley,
settlers arrived in the
flanked by the Cascade
Mountains on the east
Valley in the 1840s.
and the Coast Range on
Two Mexican land
the west, William B. Ide
Adobe State Historic Park
from this area were
stands as a memorial
awarded to Peter
to one of the leading
Lassen and Josiah
participants in the Bear
Cottonwood Trail along the Sacramento River
Belden, who later sold
Flag Revolt. The park,
out to Massachusetts native William B. Ide.
nestled along the banks of the Sacramento
River 100 miles north of Sacramento, is a
William B. Ide and the Bear Flag Revolt
symphony of wildlife sounds and gentle
With very little formal education, and
winds rustling through aged oaks. You can
trained as a carpenter, William B. Ide (1796enjoy a picnic by the river, saunter through
1852) followed the frontier as it gradually
the historic homestead or attend an exciting
moved westward. He and his family joined
living history event.
a wagon train headed for Alta California, still
When California was part of Mexico in 1821,
explorer Luis Arguello led the first recorded
expedition up the Sacramento River. The
first people his party encountered were
the Wintuan-speaking Nomlaki. Arguello’s
diary describes Nomlaki villages where
men hunted with sinew-backed bows and
obsidian arrows, building weirs and using
harpoons for river fishing. The Nomlaki
women wove exquisite baskets, using the
three-rod coil and twined methods.
In 1883 later explorers unwittingly brought
a malaria epidemic, decimating the native
population. Though the explorers later took
over Nomlaki lands, Nomlaki descendants
still live in Northern California today.
a province of Mexico. They arrived at John
A. Sutter’s fort on October 25, 1845, then
traveled north to this area. During that winter,
a rumor spread that the Mexican government
planned to evict illegal American settlers. In
June of 1846, the settlers heard what proved
to be a false rumor—a Mexican military force
was on its way, destroying crops, burning
houses and driving away cattle.
This rallied the settlers into
action, and on June 14, 1846,
a group of about thirty men—
including Ide—marched on the
town of Sonoma. The group
became known as the Bear
Flaggers. Sonoma and its leading
citizen, General Mariano G. Vallejo,
were taken without incident. The
Bear Flaggers, lacking leadership,
could not agree on their next steps. They
divided; some took their captives to Sutter’s
fort. Those remaining in Sonoma selected
Ide as their commander. Ide drafted a
proclamation declaring the newly formed
Though the California Republic lasted only
25 days before Navy Commodore John D.
Sloat raised the American flag at Monterey,
this important chapter of California history is
still known as the “Bear Flag Revolt.”
Like William B. Ide, the pioneer owners
of the property originally called Bluffton
Ranch arrived in California with visions of
opportunity. Faced with challenges, they
used their location near the CaliforniaOregon Road and the Sacramento River to
form communication and transportation
connections to the outside world. Pack trains,
horsemen, miners on foot, ox teams, covered
wagons and stagecoaches moved up and
down the valley, and steamboats moved
along the river. In 1862 a ferry crossing was
built on the property. The park today reflects
the hard work of those pioneers who lived in
Sacramento River ferry operator, late 1800s
The Adobe Becomes
observers may glimpse
a State Park
majestic bald eagles.
The adobe was built
The river supports four
in 1852 by A. M.
runs of Chinook salmon,
Dibble. By 1949 it
including the endangered
had changed hands
winter run. More abundant
at least 20 times. The
species are the Pacific
lamprey, steelhead, rainbow
was from 1882 to 1913,
The Mount family, 1898 trout, minnows, sturgeon
when the adobe was
and various catfish.
the property of two members of the pioneer
The vegetation along the river is a ruggedly
Mount family—A. Mount and Willette Mount.
beautiful blend of valley oak, California
At one point, original ownership of the
sycamore, blue elderberry, California rose
adobe was mistakenly ascribed to William
and coyote bush. Fremont cottonwoods,
B. Ide, who had owned land downriver.
willows and box elders grace the riverbanks
Subsequently, a movement sprang up to
make the site a state park in the 1940s.
The state acquired the land, and the park
Temperatures here range from the high 90s
was dedicated in 1960, honoring Ide’s
in the summer to low 40s in late fall and
contribution to California history. The
winter. Wearing layered clothing year round
restored adobe is the only example of an
original Gold Rush-era adobe in the north
PARK INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS
Animals and Plants
The riparian forest along the Sacramento
River and the adjacent oak woodland
provide perfect habitat for a variety of
Beavers and river otters busy themselves
in the water while black-tailed deer keep to
the shadows. Bird-watchers may spot nearly
200 bird species, both migratory and resident, including belted kingfishers, great blue
herons, wild turkeys, ospreys, Nutall’s woodpeckers and Canada geese. Some fortunate
Interpretive programs take visitors back in
time to experience frontier life in the mid1800s. Enjoy the sights, smells, sounds,
tastes and textures of the era.
Adobe Ferry Champion Horseshoe Pitchers
Contest is held the second Saturday in
October. “Sports history” comes alive with all
participants dressed in 1850s clothing and
following 1850s pitching rules.
Life in the 1850s brings costumed high
school docents to spend the day teaching
fourth grade students skills for surviving the
rigors of frontier life.
Mini-Life in the 1850s has 1- to 2-hour
programs, including an adobe tour and
participation in several pioneer crafts.
Volunteers in Parks
Become a VIP! Join the Volunteers in Parks
Program to offer your time and energy; have
fun while supporting William B. Ide Adobe
State Historic Park.
An accessible picnic table on a concrete
pad is in the shaded picnic area. Accessible
parking and restrooms are nearby.
Adobe Day is held the third Saturday
in August. Activities include Gold Rushera music, pioneer crafts, home-baked
refreshments, and period dancing.
Pioneer Christmas Party, held the third
Saturday in December, recreates the earliest
Christmas celebrations of the North Valley.
Visitors may enjoy hot wassail and create
Volunteers interpret pioneer California life.
A concrete walkway from the parking lot
leads to an accessible visitor center. From
the parking lot, another concrete walkway
leads to a bridge, where a dirt path takes
you to the adobe. The adobe is accessible
from the rear of the building.
• DANGER: The Sacramento River can
have strong undercurrents as well as
unseen debris and submerged logs.
Always be careful in and around the
• Dogs must be on a six-foot leash; they
are allowed only in the picnic area.
• The park’s natural and cultural resources
are protected by state law and may not
be removed or altered.
• Firearms and hunting are prohibited in
NEARBY STATE PARKS
• Shasta State Historic Park, 15312 Hwy.
299 West, Shasta (530) 243-8194
• Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area,
25340 South Avenue, Corning
• Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park,
525 Esplanade, Chico (530) 895-6144
This park receives support in part
through a nonprofit association. For more
information, contact the
Ide Adobe Interpretive Association,
21659 Adobe Road, Red Bluff, CA 96080