Contents 1 Natural history 2 History 2.1 Native American 2.2 Under Spain and Mexico 3 Early statehood 3.1 Late 19th and 20th century 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Natural history[edit] The pass is the division between the Simi Hills to the south and Santa Susana Mountains to the north, and forms the most critical wildlife corridor and habitat linkage between them.[3] The scenery is made up of sandstone formations in massive outcroppings and numerous boulders, with California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion, with oak savannahs, chaparral shrub forest, and native bunchgrass plant communities in between. The perennial water sources provide diverse habitat for birds, mammals, and reptiles.[3]

History[edit] Native American[edit] The Santa Susana Pass was at the juncture of the Native American Tongva-Fernandeño, Chumash-Venturaño, and Tataviam-Fernandeño tribal lands and was first crossed by their trail route, and used for an estimated 8,000 years.[4][5] Under Spain and Mexico[edit] The first Europeans to use the pass were members of the Spanish Portolà expedition (1769–1770), the first European land entry and exploration of the present-day state of California. The expedition traversed the pass on January 15, 1770, heading east to a campground that later became part of Mission San Fernando Rey de España.[6] After secularization of the mission in 1834, San Fernando Valley rancheros used the trail. A rough wagon road evolved.

Early statehood[edit] American newspapers in California first referred to the pass as Simi Pass from 1857 when the Los Angeles Star, wrote of the capture of the outlaw Juan Flores there.[7] That name continued in use, declining from the late 1880s until 1911 in the Eagle Rock Sentinel.[8] It began to be referred to as Santa Susana Pass in the Los Angeles Herald 18 September 1887, being used with increasing frequency thereafter.[9][10] In 1859, the California Legislature appropriated $15,000 (with additional funding provided by Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties) towards improving the old wagon road into a new stagecoach road, now known as the Old Santa Susana Stage Road.[11][12][13] The precipitous portion of the route down from the summit on the San Fernando Valley side was called the Devil's Slide; horses were usually blindfolded and chains were used to augment brakes on the steep descent. Passengers debarked and walked.[11] The outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 disrupted mail service along the Butterfield Overland Mail's southern stagecoach route from St. Louis, Missouri via El Paso, Fort Yuma and Los Angeles and on to San Francisco via the Tejon Pass, which had begun its run in 1858. To compensate, the government contracted the Butterfield Company to carry mail between Los Angeles and San Francisco via the new wagon road over the Santa Susana Pass. The first overland mail stage run through the pass took place on April 6, 1861.[11][12][13] The main route climbs through what is now Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, with a branch in L.A. City Park 'Chatsworth Park South.' It was an important artery linking the Los Angeles Basin and inland Ventura County, and was part of the main route for travel by stagecoach between Los Angeles and San Francisco from 1861 until the opening of rail traffic between the cities in 1876. The Old Santa Susana Stage Road is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Part of the stage road is also a Historic-Cultural Monument of Ventura County and of the City of Los Angeles under the name 'Old Stagecoach Trail.' Late 19th and 20th century[edit] A new wagon route bypassing the deteriorating Devil's Slide was opened in 1895 to the north . Initially called El Camino Nuevo (the New Road), it was later named the Chatsworth Grade Road, which continued in use until Santa Susana Pass Road (now Old Santa Susana Pass Road) was built in 1917.[11] This was the first automobile route between the San Fernando and Simi Valleys. It also was the main northbound 'coast road' to Santa Barbara and San Francisco, until the Conejo Grade in Ventura County between Conejo Valley and the Oxnard Plain on "Camino Real Viejo" (the Old Royal Road, now U.S. Route 101), was improved. In 1968 State Route 118, the "Simi Valley-San Fernando Valley Freeway" opened, north of the old auto road as the latest route across the Pass. In 1994 it was renamed the "Ronald Reagan Freeway". The pass area became famous from being seen in many movies, primarily Westerns, filmed from the 1920s to the 1950s here at the Spahn, Iverson, Bell Moving Picture, and Corriganville Movie Ranches. The area became infamous in the late 1960s with the Manson Family headquartered at the Spahn Ranch, near the top of the stage road's Devil's Slide. To the south of the old stage road is Sage Ranch Park and the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Immediately to the north of Route 118 at the pass top is Rocky Peak Park, a part of the Rim of the Valley Trail Corridor.[3][14] The old wagon road and rocky hill environs are part of the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, for public exploration.[15][16] The Southern Pacific Railroad began construction of three railroad tunnels through the pass in 1900 and opened the route in 1904. The railroad built the Santa Susana Depot in Rancho Simi on Los Angeles Avenue at Tapo Street in 1903.

See also[edit] Bell Moving Picture Ranch – Bell Location Ranch Burro Flats Painted Cave Corriganville Movie Ranch History of the San Fernando Valley Iverson Movie Ranch Old Santa Susana Stage Road Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park Santa Susana Tunnel Spahn Movie Ranch

References[edit] ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Santa Susana Pass ^ Schneider, Jerry L. (2014). Western Movie Making Locations Volume 1 Southern California. Lulu Press, Inc. Pages 65–67. ISBN 9781312711556. ^ a b c [1] ^ USA Today article ^ Mercury News article ^ Bolton, Herbert E. (1927). Fray Juan Crespi: Missionary Explorer on the Pacific Coast, 1769–1774. HathiTrust Digital Library. pp. 268–269.  ^ Los Angeles Star, Number 39, 7 February 1857, p.2, col.4 ^ Eagle Rock Sentinel, Number 17, 27 December 1911, p.1, col.1–3 ^ Los Angeles Herald, Volume 27, Number 166, 18 September 1887, p.8,col.2 ^ Use of the terms Simi Pass and Santa Susana Pass from search of California newspaper articles on, accessed April 22, 2017. ^ a b c d Bevill, Arthur D. (2007). Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park Cultural Resource Survey Historic Overview (PDF).  ^ a b Old Stagecoach Trail at ^ a b Link, Tom: Universal City – North Hollywood, a Centenniel Portrait, Windsor Publications, 1991, ISBN 0-89781-393-6, p. 25 ^ Kamal, Sameea (March 4, 2015). "Three lawmakers urge Park Service action on Rim of the Valley study". Los Angeles Times.  ^ California State Parks Dept. – Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park. access date: 4/4/2010. ^ – Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park. access date: 4/4/2010.

External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Santa Susana Pass. California State Parks Dept. – Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park – Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park – Sage Ranch Park – Corriganville Park – Rocky Peak Park Iverson Movie Ranch: History, vintage Photos. Corriganville Regional Park. Places adjacent to Santa Susana Pass Chumash Park Santa Susana Mountains & Rocky Peak Indian Spring Open Space Simi Valley Santa Susana Pass Chatsworth, Los Angeles Sage Ranch Park Simi Hills & Chatsworth Peak Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park v t e History of California Before 1900 Native Californian Precontact First explorations Later explorations Spanish colonization Mexican rule California Trail Mexican–American War Californio California Republic United States rule Gold Rush Civil War Since 1900 Labor Engineering Water wars Industrial growth Postwar culture Development Legal revolution Tech boom Present day By topic Highways Maritime Missions Ranchos Slavery Railroads Etymology By region San Fernando Valley By county Alameda Alpine Amador Butte Calaveras Colusa Contra Costa Del Norte El Dorado Fresno Glenn Humboldt Imperial Inyo Kern Kings Lake Lassen Los Angeles Madera Marin Mariposa Mendocino Merced Modoc Mono Monterey Napa Nevada Orange Placer Plumas Riverside Sacramento San Benito San Bernardino San Diego San Francisco San Joaquin San Luis Obispo San Mateo Santa Barbara Santa Clara Santa Cruz Shasta Sierra Siskiyou Solano Sonoma Stanislaus Sutter Tehama Trinity Tulare Tuolumne Ventura Yolo Yuba By city Los Angeles San Diego San Jose San Francisco Fresno Sacramento Long Beach Oakland Bakersfield Anaheim Santa Ana Riverside Stockton Chula Vista Fremont Irvine San Bernardino Modesto Oxnard Fontana Moreno Valley Glendale Huntington Beach Santa Clarita Garden Grove Santa Rosa Oceanside Rancho Cucamonga Ontario Lancaster Elk Grove Palmdale Corona Salinas Pomona Torrance Hayward Escondido Sunnyvale Pasadena Fullerton Orange Thousand Oaks Visalia Simi Valley Concord Roseville Santa Clara Vallejo Victorville El Monte Berkeley Downey Costa Mesa Inglewood Ventura Fairfield Santa Maria Redding Santa Monica Santa Barbara Chico Merced Napa Redwood City Yuba City Madera Santa Cruz San Rafael Woodland Hanford San Luis Obispo El Centro Lompoc Martinez Hollister Eureka Susanville Ukiah Oroville Red Bluff Auburn Marysville Piedmont Placerville Yreka Crescent City Willows Colusa Sonora Lakeport Jackson Nevada City Alturas Retrieved from "" Categories: Santa Susana MountainsSimi HillsCalifornia Historical LandmarksCalifornia State Historic ParksGeography of Simi Valley, CaliforniaHistoric trails and roads in CaliforniaHistory of Simi Valley, CaliforniaHistory of the San Fernando ValleyLandforms of Los Angeles County, CaliforniaLandforms of Ventura County, CaliforniaLandmarks in CaliforniaLos Angeles Historic-Cultural MonumentsMountain passes of CaliforniaNative American trails in the United StatesParks in Los AngelesSan Fernando ValleyTrails and roads in the American Old West

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