Somis, California

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Fulkerson Hardware has a long history of serving this agricultural community[1][2]
Fulkerson Hardware has a long history of serving this agricultural community[1][2]
Somis is located in California
Location within the state of California
Coordinates: 34°15′26″N 118°59′43″W / 34.25722°N 118.99528°W / 34.25722; -118.99528Coordinates: 34°15′26″N 118°59′43″W / 34.25722°N 118.99528°W / 34.25722; -118.99528
CountryUnited States
 • Total3,179
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)805
GNIS feature IDs1661469;[3] 1670906[4]

Somis (/ˈsmɪs/ (audio speaker iconlisten); Chumash: Śo Mís)[5] is an unincorporated community in Ventura County, California. It was established in 1892 by Thomas Bard and D.T. Perkins on a portion of the Rancho Las Posas Mexican land grant.[6] Somis is in the Las Posas Valley[7]: 194  on the south bank of Fox Barranca,[8] just west of Arroyo Las Posas.[9] For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Somis as a census-designated place (CDP).


The name of this townsite is derived from the Chumash term śo mís, meaning “water of the scrub oak.”[10] There was a Ranchería named Somes noted in records from 1795 and 1796.[11]


Like many of the farms on the adjacent Oxnard Plain, the crops of corn, wheat and barley grown here were shipped through the wharf that had been constructed in Hueneme in 1871.[6] Agricultural products were able to be shipped by rail when the line from Los Angeles to San Francisco was routed through the valley and a stop was established adjacent to the community. The current spelling of the name was established when the railroad came through.[11]


The school provides a sense of community for the town and the surrounding rural agricultural area that lies within the Somis Union School District boundary.[12] The Census Bureau definition of the area does not precisely correspond to the local understanding of the historical area of the community. Several structures have been designated County of Ventura Landmarks.[13][14] The Camarillo station is the nearest stop for Amtrak and Metrolink trains and is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner from San Luis Obispo to San Diego and Metrolink's Ventura County Line from Los Angeles Union Station to east Ventura.

Gas and oil were available in Somis for automobile travelers according to this 1916 highway map.

Somis Road (SR 34), the main thoroughfare, is lined with a few shops, businesses and a county fire station[15] and intersects State Route 118 (Los Angeles Avenue) just north of town after crossing Fox Barranca. The railroad, which is parallel with Los Angeles Avenue between Somis and Moorpark, turns and becomes parallel with Somis Road at the south end of town where they located the railroad stop for shipping agricultural products. The tracks continue south to the Camarillo Station and the intersection with US 101. The original name of Somis Road has been changed though to Lewis Road a little over 1 mile (1.6 km) south of town at the northern boundary of the City of Camarillo which is also generally the southerly boundary of Rancho Las Posas.

Shown as Central Avenue on the original plat filed by Bard, Somis Road runs in a north-south direction through the middle of the townsite. The parallel roads on either side are named West Street and East Street. Three streets are oriented in an east-west direction.[16] The most northerly, named North Street, was extended northwesterly with plats filed in 1948 and 1953 that subdivided additional town lots.[17][18] No further subdivision of town lots has occurred after this post-World War II expansion of the townsite to 96 acres (39 ha).[7]: 194 [19]

It is primarily an agricultural area, but is home to a hardware store, a market with a Mexican cafe, a post office, an elementary school, several shops, a small animal hospital, one main residential tract and numerous estates and ranches. It has no formal local government, but it is serviced by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department and the Ventura County Fire Department.

The Somis ZIP Code, 93066, includes a large area of surrounding agricultural lands bounded on the south by the edge of housing tracts in Camarillo and on the north by the ridge line of South Mountain,[20] 6 miles (9.7 km) north of Los Angeles Avenue. The ZIP Code encompasses an area some 11 miles (18 km) in width in the east-west direction. Forbes Magazine ranked Somis the 108th most-expensive ZIP code in the United States in 2015.[21] Somis had the highest median home prices in Ventura County in 1999.[22]


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Somis has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[23]


  1. ^ Omestad, Thomas (August 31, 1986) "A Store of History in Somis : Hardware Stock Includes Common Nails, Common Sense" Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Sampson, Talia (August 25, 2008) "Hardware store stays in the family: Landmark in Somis has passed from father to son" Ventura County Star
  3. ^ "Somis". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  4. ^ "Somis (historical)". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  5. ^ Chumash Place Names
  6. ^ a b McCLELLAN, DOUG (October 11, 1992). "Centennial of Somis Is Small Affair : Communities: A walking tour and back-yard party mark today's celebration. The 400 residents call their town an oasis". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "SUBSEQUENT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR FOCUSED GENERAL PLAN UPDATE and Related Amendments to the Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance and Zone Change ZN05-0008" Archived 2014-05-02 at the Wayback Machine County of Ventura (June 22, 2005)
  8. ^ "Fox Barranca". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  9. ^ "Arroyo Las Posas". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  10. ^ Applegate, Richard B. (1974). "Chumash Placenames" Journal of California Anthropology. The, 1(2). Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Gudde, Erwin G. (1969). California place names : the origin and etymology of current geographical names (3rd ed., rev. and enl. ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 316.
  12. ^ "Somis Elementary School". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  13. ^ Cultural Heritage Board. "Ventura County Landmark Map" Archived 2015-10-16 at the Wayback Machine County of Ventura Planning Division Accessed 2 November 2013
  14. ^ Payne, Paul (July 16, 1991) "3 Somis Site to Be Labeled Landmarks" Los Angeles Times
  15. ^ "Ventura County Fire Protection District Station 57 Somis". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  16. ^ "Map of the Town of Somis in Rancho Los Posas." 3 MR 33. Ventura County Recorder Retrieved October 22, 2013 from CountyView GIS
  17. ^ "BARD-HOLBERT SUBDIVISION NO. 1." 15 MR 67. Ventura County Recorder Retrieved November 2, 2013 from CountyView GIS.
  18. ^ "BARD-HOLBERT SUBDIVISION NO. 2." 21 MR 74. Ventura County Recorder Retrieved November 2, 2013 from CountyView GIS.
  19. ^ McDonald, Jeff (April 29, 1996). "Quiet Somis Seeking Bigger Voice in County Decisions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  20. ^ "South Mountain". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  21. ^ (
  22. ^ McCormack, Don (1999). McCormack's Guides Santa Barbara and Ventura 2000. Mccormacks Guides. Page 106. ISBN 9781929365098.
  23. ^ "Somis, California Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.