Photographer's Note

While the eastern United States was at war with England in 1812, a Russian sailing ship landed on the California coast, 18 miles north of Bodega Bay, and near Jenner. The Kashaya Indians called their home "Meteni". The Russians supposedly acquired their land for three blankets, three breeches, two axes, three hoes and some wampum (beads).

North of San Francisco the west coast was open to exploration and the Russians took advantage to build their fort for the potential of eastward expansion and primarily to hunt sea otter for their valuable pelts, and grow wheat for Russian settlements in Alaska. The American name "Ross" is probably a shortened version of the Russian Tsarist "Rossiya".

The Sea Otter was over-hunted and the supply dwindled. The foggy coastline proved to be not as suitable as originally hoped for growing crops. In 1841, the Fort and land was sold to John Sutter of Sacramento of 1848 gold discovery fame at his saw mill in Coloma, California. Sutter had the Fort's arms, hardware, cattle, sheep, etc., transported to his fort in Sacramento.

The State of California now owns and operates Fort Ross as a State Park. The total land is 3,277 acres and parts of the old fort were restored and replicated.
Today you can see this piece of Russian history in California.

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Additional Photos by Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1203 W: 1 N: 3169] (13981)
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