Fort Ross – A little bit of Russia in California

Fort Ross was a Russian settlement in California built in 1812. Russian interests were expanding south from Alaska while the Spanish interests were expanding north from Mexico.

Fort Ross sits on a beautiful cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean. The property is surrounded by tall wooden fence that kept out attacks from the Native Indian population. Visitors can tour a couple of houses that belonged to Russian officials, a chapel and some watch towers on the premises and appreciate the hard and dangerous life the settlers had to lead. The fort seemed quite eerie and it wasn’t hard to imagine spirits of Russian settlers and Native Indian hanging around!

Fort Ross was the site of California’s first windmills and shipbuilding. The Russians at Fort Ross engaged in farming, manufacturing and fur trade. The Russians sold off the property in 1841 when international hunting severely depleted the number of sea otters and other furry marine animals.


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