Oroville, nicknamed the City of Gold, serves as the seat of Butte County in Northern California. Originally established as the loading site for supplies sent down the Feather River to gold miners, the city was influenced by the many nationalities of prospectors who flocked to the area in search of riches. In November 2007, the city dedicated its Centennial Plaza to commemorate Oroville's 100-year anniversary.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Educational services and health care are major industries in Oroville. Other prominent industries in the city are retail trade, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.
The major employers in Oroville include Oroville Medical Complex, Pacific Coast Producers, Wal-Mart, the Home Depot USA, Roplast Industries Inc. and Sierra Pacific Industries.
- Oroville Dam: Constructed in 1957, the Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the United States; water from it creates the second-largest reservoir in California, Lake Oroville. It is part of a comprehensive state effort to direct water from the wet northern end of California to the drier south. Hydroelectric power plants surrounding the dam generate enough power every 24 hours to illuminate 2 million single-family homes.
- Chinese Temple: The Oroville Chinese Temple was built in 1863 to serve a community of over 10,000 Chinese workers in the area. Deeded to the city in 1937 and opened to the public in 1949, the temple features a tapestry hall, a display hall with various types of Chinese folk art, and a garden.
- Feather River Fish Hatchery: Built to compensate for the spawning grounds lost to Lake Oroville, the fish hatchery can accommodate over 9,000 salmon and 2,000 steelhead trout. During the spring and fall spawning runs, visitors can watch the fish jump the river steps to the gathering tanks.
- The Mother Orange Tree: Originally planted in 1856 at a gold-mining camp called Bidwell's Bar, this was the first orange tree planted in Northern California. The tree flourished, proving that citrus could be grown in the colder climate of the North. The tree has been transplanted twice and is now located in the California State Park headquarters in Oroville. It is still producing fruit.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- TheOroville State Theatre, originally built in 1928, highlights the work of local artists and presents live family entertainment.
- The Birdcage Theater produces six shows each season, including a musical performed with a live orchestra and staged at the State Theatre.
- Visitors can discover Oroville's downtown murals through self-guided walking tours. There are more than 15 murals based on the city's history from the Gold Rush to World War Two.
- The Butte County Pioneer Memorial Museum was built in 1932 to replicate a Gold Rush-era cabin. The original structure has been enlarged in order to house the growing collection of pioneer relics.
- Bike trails of all difficulty levels are available in Oroville. Bedrock Park offers a 2.5-mile paved bike trail. More experienced riders can try the off-road trails at Feather Falls or along the Feather River. Distance riders can follow the Brad Freeman Bike Trail for more than 40 miles.
- Riverbend Park features boat access to the Feather River and numerous fishing spots, walking trails, disc golf, covered pavilions, and a water-play park for children.
- Surplus City Combat Zone Paintball Park offers target practice, field play in wooded areas, and speedball (day and night). This site also features military memorabilia.
- Golfing is available at the Lake Oroville Golf and Country Club, Table Mountain Golf, and Dingerville USA.
- Lake Oroville provides both shoreline fishing and boat fishing and was named best bass fishing spot in California by Bassmaster magazine. Land lovers can enjoy hiking and horseback riding trails along the shores. A suspension bridge built in 1856 -- the first of its kind west of the Mississippi -- is open to foot traffic on the south side of Lake Oroville. Water activities available on the lake include boating, water skiing, and swimming. Watercraft may be rented at the Bidwell Marina and the Lake Oroville Marina.
- A unique way to enjoy camping at Lake Oroville is on one of its floating campsites, two-story platforms anchored to the shore. Each campsite can accommodate up to 15 people and is outfitted with a restroom, picnic table, barbeque, and docking for up to three boats.
- The Lake Oroville Visitor Center features a 47-foot observation tower equipped with two high-power telescopes. From the tower, guests have a fantastic view of the lake and the surrounding Sierra Nevada and Sutter Butte ranges. Panning classes are also available for those who want to try their luck looking for gold in the Feather River.
The Oroville Mercury-Register provides local news.
DID YOU KNOW?
Perhaps the most famous resident of Oroville was Ishi, a Yahi Indian who was found in a local corral on Aug. 29, 1911, apparently after wandering into town from a hiding place in the wild. He is believed to be the last survivor of the Yahi tribe, as well as the last Native American to have lived primarily in the absence of white men. The Lake Oroville Visitor's Center features an exhibit on Ishi's Yahi culture and his years in American society, and the neighboring community of Yuba-Sutter hosts an annual Ishi Tournament for archery.