Pioneer Memory Garden
Dedicated May 1, 1994
The concept of the garden was formulated in 1991. At that time donations were solicited in memory or in honor of families who lived in Simi Valley prior to 1950. There was an existing memorial fund derived from various donations which had accumulated in the treasury through the years, and the new donations were added to that fund. The garden is a cooperative effort of the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District and the Simi Valley Historical Society. To locate the most suitable spot in the least sensitive area, archeologists Joe Simon and David Whitley, with the help of volunteer Board members and Docents, donated their time and expertise to excavate test holes. The present site was then selected. The garden plans were drawn by Brenna Mercer of the Park District.
In 1969 a memorial was erected in front of the Strathearn House in memory of David L. Strathearn, Sr. and his sons Lloyd and Gordon, who were lost at sea in a plane accident in 1968. The monument was redesigned and built by Leo Maciel, assisted by Steve Hansen, and is now located in the garden. The river rock for the base of the plaque and for the borders of the walkways was gathered from the Gillibrand property in Tapo Canyon.
The construction and planting of the garden, and the installation of the watering system was done by Leo Maciel and his personnel. The benches and the sun dial were purchased with memorial funds. We wish to thank the Park District, especially Rich Harrison; Leo Maciel; Steve Hansen; and Duane Whitefoot, who refurbished the plaque. An informational pedestal type sign patterned after others in the park will be placed at the entrance to the garden at a later time. Project Chairperson: Jean Whitefoot.