SimiHills Cropped
The Hilltop View Overlooking Simi Valley

Welcome to the city of Simi Valley, CA.

Simi Valley (from Chumash Shimiyi) is a city located in the valley of the same name, Simi Valley, in the southeast corner of Ventura County, California, United States. Situated 30 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, Simi Valley is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city is adjacent to Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, and 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, up from 111,351 in 2000.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former president was buried following his death in 2004, is in Simi Valley.

Reagan Library
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

The city of Simi Valley is surrounded by the Santa Susana Mountain range and the Simi Hills, west of the San Fernando Valley, and northeast 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.

One of the Happiest Cities in the Country!

A study done by the University of Vermont ranked Simi Valley as the fifth-happiest city in the United States. According to crime statistics by the FBI in 2013, Simi Valley is the seventh-safest city in the U.S. with a population of 100,000 or more. The U.S. Census Bureau of 2012 reported a median household income of $87,894, which is higher than the California median of $70,231 and the national average of $62,527

Pre-Colonial Period

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.[17] The native people who inhabited Simi Valley spoke an interior dialect of the Chumash language, called Ventureño.

Simi Valley’s name derived from the Chumash word Shimiyi, which refers to the stringy, thread-like clouds that typify the region. The name could have derived from strands of mist from coastal fog that move into the Oxnard Plain and wind their way up the Calleguas Creek and the Arroyo Las Posas into Simi Valley. The origin of the name was preserved because of the work of the anthropologist John P. Harrington, whose brother, Robert E. Harrington lived in Simi Valley. Robert Harrington later explained the name: “The word Simiji in Indian meant the little white wind clouds so often seen when the wind blows up here and Indians living on the coast, would never venture up here when those wind clouds were in the sky. The word Simiji was constructed by whites to the word Simi. There are other explanations about the name Simi, but this one was given to me by my brother who worked over 40 years for the Smithsonian Institution and it seems most plausible to me”.

Three Chumash settlements existed in Simi Valley during the Mission period in the late 18th and early 19th century: Shimiyi, Ta’apu (present-day Tapo Canyon), and Kimishax or Quimisac (Happy Camp Canyon west of Moorpark College). There are many Chumash cave paintings in the area containing pictographs, including the Burro Flats Painted Cave in the Burro Flats area of the Simi Hills, located between the Simi Valley, and West Hills and Bell Canyon. The cave is located on private land owned by Boeing, formerly operated by Rocketdyne for testing rocket engines and nuclear research. Other areas containing Chumash Native American pictographs in the Simi Hills are for instance by Lake Manor and Chatsworth.

Under Spain and Mexico

The first Europeans to visit Simi Valley were members of the Spanish Portolà expedition (1769-1770), the first European land entry and exploration of the present-day state of California. The expedition traversed the valley on January 13–14, 1770, traveling from Conejo Valley to San Fernando Valley. They camped near a native village in the valley on the 14th.

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 Strathearn House
The Strathearn House

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.

Geography

Simi Valley is located at 34°16’16” North, 118°44’22” West (34.271078, −118.739428) with an elevation of 700–1,000 ft (210–300 m) above sea level.

Simi Valley CA
Simi Valley CA

Simi Valley has a total area of 42.2 sq mi, comprising 41.5 sq mi of land and 0.77 sq mi, or 1.81%, of it is water. Simi Valley is located northwest of the Los Angeles neighborhood of Chatsworth and approximately 30 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, 380 mi  south of San Francisco, 160 miles north of San Diego, and 350 miles south of Sacramento.

Simi Valley borders the Santa Susana Mountains to the north, Simi Hills to the east and south, Thousand Oaks to the southwest and Moorpark to the west. Simi Valley is connected to the nearby San Fernando Valley by the Santa Susana Pass in the extreme east of Simi Valley.

Much of the information provided by Wikipedia

Jeff Haring CRB, GRI  Realtor- Sales & Property Management
Ventura County Real Estate

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