Rancho Simi, also known as Rancho San José de Nuestra Senora de Altagarcia y Simi, was a 113,009-acre (457 km2) 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. The name derives from Shimiji, the name of the Chumash village in the Simi Valley for thousands of years before the Spanish arrival.
Rancho Simi was a Spanish land concession in Alta California given in 1795 to Francisco Javier Pico, a soldier of the Santa Barbara company, and his two brothers, Patricio Pico and Miguel Pico by the Spanish government.
The grant was confirmed in 1842 by Mexican Governor Juan Alvarado. 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.
With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Simi was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852, and the grant was patented to José de la Guerra y Noriega in 1865.
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, to later become the city of Simi Valley, California.
Historic sites of the Rancho
- Simi Adobe-Strathearn House. Home of Robert P. Strathearn served as the rancho headquarters. It is now part of the Strathearn Historical Park and Museum.
- Diseño del Rancho Simi
- The Chumash
- Robinson, William Wilcox (1979). Land in California. Ayer Company. ISBN 978-0-405-11352-9.
- Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
- United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 103 SD
- Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
- Simi Valley Historical Society
- Strathearn Historical Park & Museum
- official Strathearn Historical Park & Museum website
- Map of old Spanish and Mexican ranchos in Los Angeles County