Twelve pre-fab ‘kit’ houses were shipped to Simi in 1888 by an investor group in Chicago looking to develop Simi Valley. The group was called “The California Mutual Benefit Colony of Chicago” soon shortened to ‘The Colony.’ This formed the earliest neighborhood in Simi Valley. All but two of the Colony Houses were located in the townsite laid out by the Colony (south of LA Ave and west of First St.). The other two were located near the current intersection of Cochran and Erringer and where Madera and the railroad tracks intersect. Only two of these Colony Houses are still in existence…the Haigh/Talley and the Printz/Powell Colony houses.
This photo is a view of the main business district of the Simi Colony looking southwest from Los Angeles Avenue and Fourth street c1908. Mt. McCoy is just visible at the center of the photo over the top of the livery stable. This photo appears on page 70 of “Simi Valley, Journey Through Time” and is by John Sparhawk Appleton, courtesy of Bill Appleton Collection.
Twelve pre-fab ‘kit’ houses were shipped to Simi in 1888 by an investor group in Chicago looking to develop Simi Valley. The group was called “The California Mutual Benefit Colony of Chicago” soon shortened to ‘The Colony.’ This formed the earliest neighborhood in Simi Valley. We’re not sure which Colony House this was, as they all looked the same as first built.
Here’s a photo of the first public Simi school. It was located on the corner of Third and California Avenue. It was constructed and classes began in 1890. This photo shows the student body in 1897. Charles Blackstock, the schoolmaster, can be seen in the doorway. This school served the community until 1926 when Simi Elementary was built.
You’re driving east on Los Angeles Ave. coming up on First St. You look over at that vacant lot on the south side that backs up to the Arroyo. Now picture this building there! This was the first school in Simi. It was built in the Colony, at Third and California Streets. A bond issue was passed and the school called the Simi School was built in 1890. You may have seen photos of it before…but this is a photograph that has rarely been seen before.
Take a look at Pat’s Blog about Simi Schools:
Check out more photos of SImi Schools:
The investor group was more ambitious…but their original plan didn’t pan out. Here you see a plan of the townsite that was larger than what actually materialized. In their original plan the townsite extended north of Los Angeles Ave. You’ll see some street names on this map that never came to fruition.