When the Lone Ranger heartily exclaimed “Hi-Yo Silver!” it was away into the Simi Hills that he galloped.
When Roy Rogers and Dale Evans sang “Happy Trails to You,” it was in the Santa Susana Mountains that they clip-clopped along.
These are some of the tidbits that Simi Valley resident and free-lance writer Linda Aleahmad has included in her recently published book, “Simi Valley: Toward New Horizons. An Illustrated History.”
The book documents Simi Valley’s rise from a small farming community to a modern business center, one that next year will see the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
“Simi Valley has a very special quality all its own,” said Aleahmad, who spent the past 18 months researching and writing the book. “There are over 100,000 people here, but it still has a small town feel to it.”
Several pages in Aleahmad’s book are devoted to Simi Valley’s rich movie-making history. Since 1937, the rock-studded hills at the eastern end of the city have served as a backdrop for thousands of shoot-'em-up Westerns.
The book makes particular mention of the movie ranch once owned by the late Hollywood stuntman Ray (Crash) Corrigan. Although the ranch, known as Corriganville, was destroyed in a fire in 1965, efforts are now under way to rebuild it.
Aleahmad, a member of the Simi Valley Historical Society who has lived in Simi Valley for 20 years, said she does not consider her book to be a strict historical account of the area. “I don’t think I would call it a history book,” she said. “It’s more of an overview of the development of the valley.”
The book, which will be distributed nationwide, was published by Chatsworth-based Windsor Publications in cooperation with the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce.