Simi Valley is a town located in the valley of the same name. Simi Valley is in the southeast corner of Ventura County. It is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city is adjacent to Thousand Oaks, & Moorpark. Simi Valley is 30 miles from Downtown Los Angeles and adjacent to the Los Angeles neighborhood of Chatsworth. According to the United States Bureau of the Census, the city had a population of 126,874 in 2012.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former president was buried following his death in 2004, is in Simi Valley.
The city of Simi Valley is surrounded by the Santa Susana Mountain range and the Simi Hills, west of the San Fernando Valley and east of the Conejo Valley. It is largely a commuter bedroom community feeding the larger cities in Ventura County to the west and the Los Angeles area and the San Fernando Valley to the east.
A study done by the University of Vermont ranked Simi Valley as the fifth-happiest city in the United States.
Simi Valley was once inhabited by the Chumash people, who also settled much of the region from the Salinas Valley to the Santa Monica Mountains, with their presence dating back 10,000-12,000 years. Around 5,000 years ago these tribes began processing acorns, and harvesting local marshland plants. Roughly 2,000 years later, as hunting and fishing techniques improved, the population increased significantly. Shortly after this sharp increase a precious stone money system arose, increasing the viability of the region by offsetting fluctuations in available resources relating to climate changes. Simi Valley’s name is said to originate from the Chumash word Shimiyi, which refers to the stringy, thread-like clouds that typify the region.
Rancho Simi, also known as Rancho San José de Nuestra Senora de Altagarcia y Simi, was a 113,009-acre Spanish land grant in eastern Ventura and western Los Angeles counties given in 1795 to Francisco Javier Pico and his two brothers, Patricio Pico and Miguel Pico by Governor Diego de Borica. Rancho Simi was the earliest Spanish colonial land grant within Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The name derives from Shimiji, the name of the Chumash Native American village here before the Spanish. It was one of the largest lands, but later when Mexico became independent from Spain, land was handed out much more freely. The Simi Adobe-Strathearn House, later the home of Robert P. Strathearn, served as the headquarters of the rancho.
José de la Guerra y Noriega, a Captain of the Santa Barbara Presidio, who had begun to acquire large amounts of land in California to raise cattle, purchased Rancho Simi from the Pico family in 1842. A few years after Jose de la Guerra’s death in 1858, the rancho was sold to the Philadelphia and California Petroleum Company headed by Pennsylvania Railroad president, Thomas A. Scott. When no great amount of oil was discovered, Scott began to sell the rancho. In 1887, a portion of the rancho was bought by a newly formed company, the Simi Land and Water Company. The small colonial town known as “Santa Susana del Rancho Simi” throve in the late 19th century and had a Spanish-speaking majority, but since then many Anglo-Americans have arrived to settle. Farms, orchards and groves dominated the valley’s landscape until the 1970s.
For a brief time, its postal address was known as Simiopolis, though it was soon shortened again to Simi by 1910. The first public school was built in 1890 in the northeast but was torn down in 1926. There was also a great deal of destruction caused by a flood in 1952. The city incorporated as Simi Valley in 1969, when the area had only 10,000 residents. In 1972, Boys Town West was founded in the eastern end of Simi Valley. The youth camp/home facility is based on an older larger one in Boys Town, Nebraska.
Information source: Wikipedia
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