Simi Valley gets a bad rap. Between the Manson family using Spahn Ranch as a clubhouse in 1968 and '69, and the town acting as a host for the 1991 trial that would eventually acquit the policemen who beat Rodney King, Simi V. is known for her claws and daggers in California's history. But Simi Valley also is the cherished home of one of the state's most treasured folk art sites. Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village, a shockingly detailed outsider-art site comprised of color-coded structures built with bottles, tiles and all the doll heads Tressa Prisbrey could unearth at the local Simi dump, was built by hand between 1956 and 1981. Prisbrey started the project when she was already 60 years old, some say as a form of therapy to deal with the deaths of five of her six children. Other sources say she wanted structures to display her 17,000-strong commemorative pencil collection, and still more sources will impart that she just wanted to do something with the remnants of her then-husband's “bad habit.” —Rena Kosnett

4595 Cochran St., Simi Valley, 93062. (805) 231-2497,

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