El Rancho Simi Pioneer Cemetery, Simi Valley
About El Rancho Simi Pioneer Cemetery, Simi Valley
The Simi Cemetery is the first recorded cemetery in the Simi Valley, having been established in 1890 by Clementine Parantau on land she purchased from the California Mutual Benefit Colony of Chicago (Simi Cemetery Map, 4890). Clementine Parantau was one of the first members of the California Mutual Benefit Colony of Chicago to arrive in the Simi Valley in 1888-1889. During the Southern California boom years of 1887-1888, the Simi Land and Water Company advertised land for sale in the Chicago newspapers. A group of eight Chicago doctors formed a corporation to purchase land and established what they called a Mutual Benefit Colony (Cameron, 1963). Their promotional literature referred to the area as Simiopolis, “The Garden of Southern California,” and stressed the potential for profits to be made from agriculture and the variety of crops that could be grown in the Valley. In addition, the literature eloquently described the climatic advantages of the Simi Valley and predicted that within a few short years it would be “The most sought after ad desirable spot for invalids” to be found in the State of California (California Mutual Benefit Colony of California, 1888).