The City of Simi Valley, with an estimated population of 126,788 (as of July 2015) is the third largest of Ventura County's ten cities. Occupying an area of approximately 42 square miles, it is located in Southeast Ventura County, adjacent to the northwestern perimeter of the San Fernando Valley, approximately 37 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The City was incorporated in 1969 under the general laws of the State of California and operates under a General-Law/council-manager form of government.
Two Chumash settlements existed in Simi Valley. These villages were named Shimiji (or Shimiyi) and Ta’apu. A third nearby settlement called Kimishax was also located nearer present-day Moorpark. It is believed that the name of the Chumash Indian Village “Shimiji” is the origin of the City’s name. Ta’apu is the origin of the names of Tapo Street and Tapo Canyon. The official City tree is the Coast Live Oak, whose acorns were used by the Chumash Indians for food. The official City flower is the California Wild Rose, from which the Chumash Indians 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, approximately 113,000 acres in size, was one of the largest ever made. 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 proper way to pronounce Simí sounds more like “suh-MEE” rather than “SEE-me.”