Known to Valley residents since 1901, Simonian Farms is a fourth generation family farm that grows over 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables. While most businesses change with the times, Simonian Farms has always embraced the past. So much so, in fact, that they have taken their love of ‘the way it used to be’ and put it all on stage in a new building they’ve named “Simonian Farms Old Town.”
Strolling through the building is like visiting a history museum focused on the years 1840 to 1950. Prominently displayed is the Old Town Saloon where you can taste and purchase wines made from a variety of local wineries. To the left of that, you will see an old school house, church, barber shop, livery (which I had to look up on my phone to know what it was), and if you can believe it… a post office without a line!
It was fun to hear my young daughter tell me what different tools and antiques were once used for; I guess her 3rd grade history class paid off. As a reward, I let her enjoy some time in the electronic shooting gallery, though who am I kidding—we both enjoyed shooting targets and making the country critters on Route 66 dance and holler.
There is so much to see here, it must have taken months to set up, and obviously years to collect and restore. I’m sure you could visit multiple times without seeing everything. If it wasn’t for my daughter, I would have missed Smokey the Bear! I remember, as a child, seeing him at The Fresno Fair and waiting in line to push the button on his shovel: “Only you can prevent forest fires.”
On your way out, be sure to try some of the fruit and nut samples and visit the old fashion candy and soda store, which is tucked into the southernmost corner of the barn. I, for one, never knew such wide variety of sodas ever existed.
Simonian Farms Old Town is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. and is located on the south east corner of Jensen and Clovis Avenue.