Jenner in Sonoma County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Welcome to Fort Ross
In the early 1800s, Fort Ross was a thriving international community on the edge of the Spanish frontier. In 1812, the Russian-American Company (RAC) built Fort Ross at Metini, a centuries-old Kashaya village. The Fort had two purposes. The first was to supply food to the RAC's Alaskan settlements. The second was to serve as a base for hunting sea otters and fur seals. Russians, Native Alaskans, and Kashaya lived and worked at the Fort. The RAC did business with merchants and dignitaries from Mexico, the United States, and Europe throughout Alta California. In 1841, faced with a decline in the fur trade and failing crops, the RAC sold the buildings and its inventory. Several families later used the land for ranching, timber production, and as a stage stop.
Established in 1906, Fort Ross is one of the oldest parks in the California State Parks System. The Fort's international legacy endures as people from around the world celebrate and work to preserve its heritage.
Location. 38° 30.972′ N, 123° 14.774′ W. Marker is in Jenner, California, in Sonoma County. Marker can be reached from Fort Ross Road south of Coast Highway (California Route 1). Touch for map. Marker is located near the Fort Ross State Historic Park main parking lot,
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Ross (within shouting distance of this marker); California's First Windmill (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); re-creating the Fort Ross Windmill (about 600 feet away); The Call Family Residence (about 800 feet away); The Russian Village Site - Sloboda (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Native Alaskan Village (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sandy Beach Cove (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Ross (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jenner.
Also see . . .
1. History of the Russian Settlement at Fort Ross, California.
For the small group of California natives, that cool, overcast day in March 1812 was a forerunner of massive change. They stood there in astonishment as a large sailing ship came to anchor in the little cove beneath their quiet bluff top settlement. For the next few days, they continued to watch as some twenty-five Russians and eighty Alaskans came ashore, set up a temporary camp, and began building houses and a sturdy wooden stockade - the colony and fortification of Ross. The Kashaya people assembled to watch the spectacle had no way of knowing that their (Submitted on April 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Establishment of the California Settlement.
On August 30, 1812 (in the old style Russian calendar), the name-day of Tsar Alexander I, the Russians held a special religious service at the colony, marking the completion of the stockade. The stockade was built of redwood, much in the same configuration as seen today. Two blockhouses with cannon ports were constructed at the northwest and southeast corners of the stockade. The northwest blockhouse had seven sides and the southeast one had eight, each structure being two stories high. Between twelve and forty cannons were placed within the stockade and blockhouses. (Submitted on April 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Russians establish Fort Ross.
Fort Ross, proved unable to fulfill either of its expected functions for very long. By the 1820s, the once plentiful sea otters in the region had been hunted almost to extinction. Likewise, the colonists’ attempts at farming proved disappointing, because the cool foggy summers along the coast made it difficult to grow the desired fruits and grains. Potatoes thrived, but they could be grown just as (Submitted on April 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 85 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.