The First Visit to Strathearn Park in Simi Valley

Posted: September 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

I say the “first visit,” because we all plan to go back. We trudged out to Strathearn Park and Museum last Sunday, September 9th, on one of those hideously hot Valley days, through the eerie Box Canyon and past Kimberly’s haunted childhood home. The tone was set.

Here, briefly, is a historical sketch of the park from simihistory.com:

Simi Land and Water Company acquired most of El Rancho Simi, and when they began to advertise the lands for sale, they reached states in the mid-west and New England. A group of investors calling themselves the “California Mutual Benefit Colony of Chicago” bought land for a town site with nearby acreage available for farming. Their little town was called Simiopolis for a brief six-month period, but they soon went back to the simpler “Simi.”
The future colonists arranged for twelve small identical houses to be pre-cut and partly assembled in Chicago, then loaded onto rail cars for their trip west.
Unfortunately, their settlement plans did not work out in this remote place, with no stores, roads or utilities of any kind, so the Colony soon folded, but their “Colony Houses” lasted well into the 20th century.
One of the Colony Houses was used for school during the week, church on Sunday, and a dance on Saturday night. Only two remain: this one, and one on its original site in the town of Simi (near Second and Pacific). The Colony House was owned briefly by the Henry and Grace Haigh family. It was occupied the longest by the Mary and John Talley family and was the scene of many happy family gatherings. It was moved to the Strathearn Historical Park in 1970.

It was the Colony House that shocked me the most; not due to any particular aspect of the house, but because I was suddenly, absolutely and completely overwhelmed by the certainty that I had lived there before. I saw an entire scene before me: Kirsten in another life, with another name, and an entirely different family from many, many decades past.

I remained in a state of shock after that. Thank God that the Paranormal Housewives are open to such experiences and don’t judge them as odd or insane. I don’t know what to make of that sudden realization, except that I must “sit with it” for awhile and see if anything develops, or if it remains an inexplicable episode triggered by a very old memory. The home that had the most meaning for Marsha was the main house on the property, the Strathearn residence.

After our tour of the property, we had no time to soak up the atmosphere; we had arrived just a little too close to closing time for that. This was, however, our “walk-through,” a way of assessing if there is good reason to return. There is abundant good reason, as it turns out. Yes, we know that these houses were not there originally and were part of a failed “Colony” attempt; yet, there is a real sense of something still living and evolving in and around the homes. The church, especially, was redolent of interesting spirits. They might be willing to speak to us, given time and opportunity. We plan to find out.

—Kirsten A. Thorne, Ph.D/PHW

Comments
  1. hortencia says:

    CONGRATULATION FOR THAT TRIP TO THAT HOUSE WELL I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU ON THE FIRST PICTURE WHERE IS THE CHINA CABINETS THERE IS A FIGURE OF A MAN MEDIUM HEGIHT IT SEEMS HE IS INSIDE THE CHINA CABENIT ONLY CAN SEE FROM HIS WAIST UP KIND SKINNY MAN LEST JUMP TO ANOTHER FOTO WHERE THE DRESS YOU SEE THE WALL AND A PICTURE HANING WELL RIGHT THERE IS A WOMEN FIGURE LIKE THAT DRESS IS IN THE PICTURE SHE IS WEARING ONE AND HER HAIR IS UP SHE HAS VERY CURLY HAIR ON CAN SEE HALF OF HER BODY FROM THE WAIST UP SHE IS YOUNG AROUND 19 TO 23 YEARS OLD LOOKING AT THE CAMERA WHEN YOU SHOUT THE PICTURE ON THE SEVEN PICTURE YOU ARE STANDING IN THE LIBRARY ROOM WELL THERE IS A KID AROUND 8 TO 10 YEARS OLD WEARING OLD CLOTHING WATCHING YOU AND THE CAMERA EVERYBODY CAME REALLY PRETTY WHERE ARE YOU STANDING BEHIND THE TOWER THERE IS A BIG BUSH WELL YOU HAVE COUPLE OF DARK FIGURES LOOKING AT THE CAMERA MIGHT BE AROUND 4 OR 5 TWO KIDS AND THE OTHER ARE ADULTS YOU THING OH IS DAY NO GHOST NO EVEN ON THE DAY THERE IS GHOST BUT YOUR EYES WILL NOT CAPTURE ONLY THE CAMERAS,GO BACK AND TAKE MORE PICTURE THERE IS A LOT OF GHOST HANGING RIGHT THERE GOOD LUCK IN YOUR NEXT FUTURE TRIPS

  2. Kimberly Demmary says:

    Oh my gosh Kirsten, I forgot you had that connection to that house! I love it when we as a team go side by side on things and have experiences like this at a location. I get so giddy about it. I had something happened to me in that house as well. I think only Liz or Marsha know this, because I think they saw me do it, but the moment we walked into the Colony house, everyone made a left into the living room, I was last and when I took one step into that room and I felt like I walked into a bubble made of some really thick air. I literally took one step in, and then had to take one step back out of the room, and into the hallway where I felt fine, because it felt so strange.

    It wasn’t a bad feeling at all, I just felt like everything around me changed the moment I put one foot on that living room floor. Almost as if I interrupted something and walked right into it. It’s hard to explain. I am just thinking out of the box here, but what if I was walking into your feeling, your connection with the house at the very moment you were feeling it?? I mean who knows how this works, metaphysically anyway. Just a thought.

    Anyway I went upstairs to look around instead, and then I came back down and I was able to walk through the living room just fine. Like it was never there. My body doesn’t usually react much in locations, but when it does…Wow do I listen! And I love every minute when it happens. We must go back there. I really want to spend more time without the feeling that we have to hurry before the gates close on us….Hahaha, but then again that wouldn’t be a bad thing either! ~Parawife Kimberly

    • OK, so here’s the deal: Kimberly, when I walked in there, I felt that I was witnessing a family scene that I was once part of. There were children on the floor and adults sitting on the sofas. I think what you walked into was a strong image from the past that was replaying at that moment. I have often felt that I have stumbled on to “ghost party” in the past, but what I am NOT used to is feeling as if I had actually BEEN there when it happened. I wasn’t looking at myself or feeling that I was split in two time periods, simply that somehow I was there at some point before. It’s very confusing to me. Was I, or was I not, part of the scene that was playing out there at that very moment? I think I was in both places at the same time, so maybe I was “split” somehow! How is that possible? How could one’s past self and one’s current self be occupying the same space? My head is starting to hurt. We need to return to that house. It’s important!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s