The beauty and history of Butte county are what keeps our citizens so proud to be living in such a place. A part of that history stems from the somewhat mysterious rock walls which seem to have no start or end point, and run through Chico.

Historians say the Azores, people from a region in Portugal, built the rock walls. Similar walls like these run along Humboldt, Neal and Bruce Road, and were built by immigrants but no one is sure which immigrants built which walls.

“Manuel Picanco, aged Chico resident, was one of the three Portuguese craftsmen who handled the construction of the endless miles of rock walls one the Cohasset, Humboldt, and Neal Roads nearly 60 years ago. That is the story told by Charles McClard, 134 W. Third Ave., who at one time worked on construction of the walls. They were erected by owners of two great cattle and hog ranches east of town to keep stock within the bounds of the property.”

“McClard said that ranch hands, during their idle months between harvest, pried the large rocks out of the ground and called them to the wall site. However,¬†McClard said, three Portuguese craftsmen, one of whom was Picanco, handled the actual placing of the rocks. The walls were constructed with such exactness, that after over half a century no major rebuilding of the unique walls has been necessary. Constructed over a span of six years, the walls are four feet thick at the base and two and one-half across the top.”


To learn more about the rock walls and where they came from, check out this 2016 article from the ChicoER: