Simi Valley is the third largest of Ventura County’s ten cities with an estimated population of 126,380. Approximately 42 square miles in area, Simi Valley is in Southeast Ventura County, adjacent to the San Fernando Valley and 37 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Simi Valley was incorporated in 1969 under the general laws of the State of California and operates under a General-Law/council-manager form of government.
Simi Valley’s rich history begins with the Chumash people, who lived in Simi Valley up to 13,000 years ago until the 1800s. The two Chumash villages in the area Shimiji (or Shmiyi) and Ta’apu are the origins of the City’s name, while Tapo Street and Tapo Canyon are the namesakes of Taa’apu. A third settlement, Kimishax, was located near present-day Moorpark.
The official City tree is the Coast Live Oak. The Chumash relied on its acorns for one of their staple foods. The official City flower is the California Wild Rose, from which the Chumash ate vitamin-rich rosehips.
In 1795, San José de Nuestra Señora de Altagracia y Simí was granted to Santiago Pico, one of 240 colonists from Mexico, by Spanish Governor Diego de Borica. This land grant was one of the largest ever made, approximately 113,000 acres. Interestingly, the spelling of Simí in the records from the time of the land grants places the emphasis on the second syllable of Simí, indicating that the original pronunciation of Simí sounded like “suh-MEE” rather than “SEE-me.”Simi Valley is a city in the valley of the same name in the southeast corner of Ventura County, California, United States. Simi Valley is 40 miles (65 km) from downtown Los Angeles, making it part of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city sits next to Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, and Chatsworth. As of the 2020 U.S.
Census the population was 126,356 up from 124,243 in 2010. 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 grew as a commuter bedroom community for the cities in the Los Angeles area and the San Fernando Valley when a freeway was built over the Santa Susana Pass.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former president was buried in 2004, is in Simi Valley. The Reagan Library has hosted Republican primary debates in 2012 and 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 thousands of 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. 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. “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”.