With it pouring down rain all night our ride leader decided it would be safer to just have breakfast.  So we sent out a “ride reminder” saying the ride was cancelled but we were having breakfast at Cocos at 10. 13 people showed up and had a terrific breakfast with the best server we’ve ever had. His name is Effrin and if you are at the Simi Cocos ask for him.1fbcocbreak
LES MONTROSE and MERT LAPEYRE MONTROSE have a deep, rich history in Simi and the surrounding area that goes back for decades. Mert’s grandfather Jean Baptist Lapeyre and his brother Pete sailed from France and settled in the Tierra Rejada Valley in the late 1800’s, ranching and farming that area.  Her grandmother’s father owned the ranch that later became Joel Mccrea’s home. Her father, Alex inherited his uncle Pete’s ranch and kept it going until the planned intrusion of Olsen Road, and the ranch was sold in the late 1960’s to the Doheny family. Mert, although still a Moorpark resident, docents at the Strathearn Park and is always willing to share her knowledge of the early Simi and Moorpark areas.

Les is a comparable newcomer to the area, having moved with his family from the San Fernando Valley to Simi in 1963. He graduated Simi High in 69′ and has worked for a considerable time for another pioneer family at PW Gillibrand Co’s (Mert’s sister) mining facilities in Tapo Canyon. Both Mert and Les spent 17 years working together as park caretakers for Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, which, with the Simi Valley Historical Society, runs the Strathearn Park.

With that in mind who better to tell the story of Strathearn Park than Mert? We “broke” in the gate since they dont open til 1 and she got us into all the beautiful old homes and barns and we walked the grounds for almost 2 hours. Just the well manicured grounds were a delight to the eyes and the inside of the homes brought her stories. of times gone by, to life with their well kept authentic furnishings.

Thanks Mert, and Les too, for a very interesting walk through Simi history. Here is just a taste of our tour in pics……If you ever have the chance to take the tour there you wont be sorry.

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