Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Simi Valley in Ventura County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Rancho Simi (1795)

 
 
Rancho Simi Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
1. Rancho Simi Marker
Inscription. This is the site of the headquarters of the Spanish Rancho San Jose de Nuestra Senora de Altagarcia y Simi. The name derives from "Shimiji," the name of the Chumash village here before the Spanish. At 113,000 acres, Rancho Simi was one of the state's largest land grants. Two prominent Spanish and Mexican family names are connected with the Rancho: Santiago Pico who first received the grant, and Jose de la Guerra who purchased the Rancho in 1842. Two rooms of original adobe remain, part of the Strathean home built in 1892-93.
 
Erected 1989 by State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Simi Valley Historical Society. (Marker Number 979.)
 
Location. 34° 16.45′ N, 118° 48.035′ W. Marker is in Simi Valley, California, in Ventura County. Marker can be reached from Strathearn Place west of Madera Road when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Robert P. Strathearn Historical Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 137 Strathearn Place, Simi Valley CA 93063, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ronald Wilson Reagan (approx. 1˝ miles away); Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village (approx. 5˝ miles away);
Rancho Simi Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
2. Rancho Simi Marker
Stagecoach Inn (approx. 9.2 miles away); Stagecoach Inn and Sycamore Tree (approx. 9.2 miles away); Rancho Camulos (approx. 9˝ miles away); Governor Juan Alvarado (approx. 9˝ miles away); Portolá Expedition (approx. 9.9 miles away); Fillmore's First Bank & Masonic Hall (approx. 10.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Simi Valley.
 
Also see . . .  Strathearn Historical Park and Museum. (Submitted on January 4, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.)
 
Categories. Hispanic AmericansNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Simi Adobe-Strathearn House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
3. Simi Adobe-Strathearn House and Marker
Simi Adobe-Strathearn House image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
4. Simi Adobe-Strathearn House
Simi Adobe-Strathearn House image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, August 18, 2007
5. Simi Adobe-Strathearn House
Simi Adobe-Strathearn House image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
6. Simi Adobe-Strathearn House
Saint Rose of Lima Church image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
7. Saint Rose of Lima Church
On August 10, 1902, the first house of worship in Simi Valley was dedicated as the Presbyterian Church of Simi, California. After a few years, the cost of maintaining the church became too difficult for the small group to manage, so the church was closed, with the members joining the Methodists.
In 1912, the building became a mission of the Catholic Church in Oxnard. In 1921, the church officially became the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church with a small congregation numbering 20 families.
Saint Rose of Lima Church image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, August 18, 2007
8. Saint Rose of Lima Church
This is the oldest church building in Simi Valley. It served the local Catholic congregation beginning about 1910, when priests came over from Oxnard to conduct services. It became a parish in 1922, and was used until the congregation moved into new facilities on Royal Avenue in 1963. Towards the last of those years, it was so crowded that people were standing outside on the sidewalk with a p.a. system.
The building was moved to Strathearn Historical Park in 2002.
Colony House image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
9. Colony House
Simi Land and Water Company acquired most of El Rancho Simi, and when they began to advertise the lands for sale, they reached states in the mid-west and New England. A group of investors calling themselves the "California Mutual Benefit Colony of Chicago" bought land for a town site with nearby acreage available for farming. Their little town was called Simiopolis for a brief six-month period, but they soon went back to the simpler "Simi." The future colonists arranged for twelve small identical houses to be pre-cut and partly assembled in Chicago, then loaded onto rail cars for their trip west. Unfortunately, their settlement plans did not work out in this remote place, with no stores, roads or utilities of any kind, so the Colony soon folded, but their "Colony Houses" lasted well into the 20th century. One of the Colony Houses was used for school during the week, church on Sunday, and a dance on Saturday night. Only two remain: this one, and one on its original site in the town of Simi (near Second and Pacific).
The Colony Hose was owned briefly by the Henry and Grace Haigh family. It was occupied the longest by the Mary and John Talley family and was the scene of many happy family gatherings. It was moved to the Strathearn Historical Park in 1970.
Wood Ranch Open Barn image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
10. Wood Ranch Open Barn
The Wood Ranch Barns. 1n 1982, when the Wood Ranch was poised to undergo development, two barns were donated to the historical park. The Simi Valley Historical Society and the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District worked together to make the move a reality. The "Open" barn houses a collection of old wooden wagons and other farm implements. The Teaching Area in the Open Barn is also the home of the Chumash Indian displays and is used as our Chumash schoolroom during our third grade school tours. The Restoration Workshop is also housed in the Open Barn.
Simi Store<br>Gen'l Merchandise image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
11. Simi Store
Gen'l Merchandise
Rancho Simi Grounds image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, August 18, 2007
12. Rancho Simi Grounds
Crinklaw Bldg (1912) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
13. Crinklaw Bldg (1912)
Cement Slabs From Simi High School image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
14. Cement Slabs From Simi High School
Simi Adobe-Strathearn House and Windmill image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
15. Simi Adobe-Strathearn House and Windmill
Robert P. Strathearn image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, August 18, 2007
16. Robert P. Strathearn
Historical Park and Museum
137 Strathearn Place
Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District
This sign is located at the parking area near the entrance to the park.
El Rancho Simi <br>1795 - 1995 image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
17. El Rancho Simi
1795 - 1995
In 1795 El Rancho Simi became the first Spanish colonial land grant in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The original grantee of the 113,000 acres was Santiago Pico, whose first dwelling was in the center of Simi Valley. Shortly after 1800, new headquarters were established further west, at the current site of the Strathearn Historical Park & Museum where a portion of the Simi Adobe is still preserved. The rancho was purchased from the remaining Picos c. 1831 by Jose de la Guerra.

Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District
El Rancho Simi Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 1, 2007
18. El Rancho Simi Marker
Strathearn Historical Park image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, August 18, 2007
19. Strathearn Historical Park
El Rancho Simi
137 Strahearn Place
This sign is located at the intersection of Strahern Place and Madera Road.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 28, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 951 times since then and 85 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 28, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. submitted on January 3, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement