The discovery of gold in 1849 was the beginning of Oroville. Initially known as Ophir, the organization of the Feather River and Ophir Water Company created a boom in the city that led to it becoming the fifth largest town in California by 1856. After early economic inconsistency the town was officially incorporated in 1906.
Lake Oroville is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the entire state and with 167 miles of shoreline there are ample campsites and RV hookups at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. The Forebay Aquatic Center, the North Forebay and South Forebay provide additional water recreation including kayaking, canoeing, wakeboarding and swimming. The Freeman Bicycle Trail includes 41 miles of off-road riding for all-terrain bicycles.
The Lake Oroville Visitor Center, Ehmann Home, Bolt Tool Museum, Lott Home, Butte County Pioneer Memorial Museum and Chinese Temple & Museum provide historic artifacts and displays about the Oroville area. Feather River Fish Hatchery and Nature Center is another unique attraction as are Oroville wine & olive oil tastings and tours.
Each September, downtown Oroville hosts the Oroville Salmon Festival which celebrates the annual arrival of salmon to the Feather River. Education, music, tastings and tours highlight this event. The Bounty of Butte County showcases local food and beverage. Feather Fiesta Days has been Oroville’s hometown celebration for more than 70 years. The celebration includes a parade, car show and fun for the whole family.
A warm summer Mediterranean climate produces 243 days of sunshine and 29 inches of rain each year. In July the high temperature averages 96 degrees. January lows average in the upper 30s. Snow does not typically factor into Oroville weather.
Pacific Coast Producers, Gold Country Casino and RCBS are among the top employers in Oroville. The economic stability of this area strengthens existing businesses while attracting new business.
The Oroville Union High School District contains three schools, while the Oroville Elementary School District includes six elementary schools and three middle schools. California State University, Chico is the second-oldest campus in the California State University system. Butte Community College and Northwest Lineman College are additional higher educational opportunities.
Oroville Hospital provides medical care for patients in Butte County and Northern California in a safe, friendly and compassionate environment.