Fort Ross, California

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

This has to have been the most forlorn colonial outpost ever. This was a trading post of the Russian American Company, established in 1812. To get here from the heart of Russia, you'd have to have traveled overland across Russia, then by ship across the Pacific (probably via Alaska). Either that, or you'd have gone by ship around Africa or South America. And once you were here, there was nobody else from home closer than Alaska.
Coastal California is beautiful when the sun is out, but the weather is utterly dreary a lot of the time.

The San Andreas Fault comes back ashore just a short distance south of the fort, and it was badly damaged in 1906.

Fort Ross sits on an uplifted marine terrace.
The chapel is the most recognizable landmark at Fort Ross.

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Created 7 April 2003, Last Update 04 June 2020