Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fort Ross State Historic Park

One of California's many wonderful state parks is Fort Ross. Fort Ross was built in 1812 by the Russian American Company. It was hoped that the settlement would be able to raise enough food to supply their settlements farther north in what is now Alaska. When we visited there was a group of school children having a living history experience. It looked like they were planning to spend the night.
The Russian's venture was not as successful as hoped. They were not able to produce enough food to supply the colonies in Alaska. The native Alaskans they employed were more successful at their task. They were such good hunters that they almost managed to hunt the sea otters to extinction.
The cove below the fort was the site of a small shipbuilding operation.

The fort was eventually sold to John Sutter who removed anything of value to Sutter's Fort in Sacramento. There followed a series of owners and the state acquired the property in 1906, just before the San Francisco earthquake. The fort was heavily damaged in the quake and most of the buildings had to be rebuilt.
It is a beautiful spot, well worth the visit even for those not interested in the history.
More information on Ft Ross can be found here.

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