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Santa Susana is one of three rural towns in Simi Valley that began at the turn of the 20th century. The town derives its name from the surrounding mountains, Sierra de Santa Susanna, and grew up alongside the railroad depot built by the Southern Pacific Company in 1903. The history of Santa Susana can be traced back to the Chumash Indian village of Ta'apu and a Spanish and grant, El Rancho Simi. The area was first surveyed by the Simi Valley Land and Water Company in 1887 for the sale of ranches. By the ...
Santa Susana is one of three rural towns in Simi Valley that began at the turn of the 20th century. The town derives its name from the surrounding mountains, Sierra de Santa Susanna, and grew up alongside the railroad depot built by the Southern Pacific Company in 1903. The history of Santa Susana can be traced back to the Chumash Indian village of Ta'apu and a Spanish and grant, El Rancho Simi. The area was first surveyed by the Simi Valley Land and Water Company in 1887 for the sale of ranches. By the mid-1950s, Santa Susana had become a recognized agricultural center, noted for citrus and walnut production. Corriganville and Bottle Village are unique tourist destinations that originated near the Santa Susana Airport. In the surrounding mountains, quirky religious groups established communes away from the public with strange names and stories: Pisgah Grande, The Great Eleven Club, and WKFL Fountain of the World.
Bill Appleton is a fourth-generation descendant of a Simi family and is actively involved with the Simi Valley Historical Society at the Strathearn Historical Park and Museum. The images used in this volume have been selected from his personal Collection, the historical society files, and numerous other private collections and historical archives.
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.
1 Early Santa Susana History 9
2 Oil, Land, and Southern Pacific Company 33
3 Santa Susana Township 51
4 Tapo Citrus and Walnut Growers Associations 65
5 Santa Susana Airport 75
6 Corriganville Movie Ranch 85
7 Susana Knolls and Santa Susana Field Laboratory 97
8 Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village 107
9 Communes, Cults, and the WKFL 115
Posted August 26, 2009
I was THRILLED to see this brand new book about SANTA SUSANA, my home town. My great grand-father, S.M.W. Easley, moved to Simi Valley in the early 1870s. Our family has lived in the Valley ever since. All of us attended schools there, participated in recreational activities, church and civic events.
This book is such FUN!!! It not only includes photos of the area where I grew up, but also of family and friends, businesses which serviced our needs, places we hung out, etc. I knew these people, and still have close connections with many of them or their descendants.
This is a living history for me and my family. There is even a photo of the trailer my father cooked in at Corriganville (including his pick-up parked behind the trailer - what a surprise!). There are photos of people my parents and elder siblings spoke of -- but who passed away before I was born. This treasure of a book has provided faces to connect with the names and stories I've heard throughout the years.
What a loving tribute this is to Santa Susana -- a town whose name disappeared into memory and the pages of history when the City of Simi Valley was incorporated.
Bill Appleton's SANTA SUSANA is a beautiful pictorial memory book of a small town where people were closely involved in each other's lives, everyone worked together and were mutually supportive. These are the "small town" values and people who shaped my life. Although I no longer live in the Valley, it will always be my home town. I'm grateful to Bill for giving me a photographic tribute to my past.
Posted March 18, 2010
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