The Paradise Depot Museum was dedicated and opened to the public in July, 2007, adding the crowning touch to the new Community Park. Located at the corner of Black Olive and Pearson, the Museum’s hours are Saturday and Sunday from noon to four. The Depot also is open during community events.
Forty major donors of $1,000 or more in cash or in kind services are “Golden Spike Sponsors,” with their names on golden spikes permanently displayed in the Depot. The Gold Nugget Museum is proud that Alice Smith, former mayor and community activist, agreed to serve as honorary chairperson of the Golden Spike campaign.
At the Community Park’s dedication, a new giving opportunity for the depot museum was announced—the Gandy Dancers campaign, with all donors of $100 or more honored on a plaque featuring a gandy dancer’s sledge hammer. For more information on how you can participate, contact the Gold Nugget Museum at 872-8722.
The Paradise Depot opened in March 1904, one of four depots of the Butte County Rail Road, built to serve Diamond Match Company operations in Stirling City and Barber (Chico). BCRR soon added passenger and cargo services and Paradise became the busiest depot on the route. It formed the heart of a new "downtown" and was the engine of economic development for the town, particularly through the marketing of produce.
A famous wreck occurred in 1909, when a new engineer lost control coming down from Magalia. The crash occurred between Pearson and Neal Roads, killing two people. Operated by Southern Pacific after 1912, the last train went through in 1974. Tracks were removed by SP and the roadbed now serves as a memorial trail for bikers and hikers.