Near the town of Jenner, on California Highway 1, is Fort Ross State Historic Park. Our group visited there, and we are shown here at one of the entrances to the stockade. The place was the site of an 1812 trading post and fort established by Russian fur traders to protect their claim against the Spanish. Fort Ross was the southern-most settlement in the Russian colonization of North America, and was established as an agricultural base to supply Alaska.
This photo shows their reconstructed chapel, representing the first Russian Orthodox chapel south of Alaska. There is only one original structure on the site, and that is the Commander's House. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is noteworthy, that Fort Ross was also the location of California's first windmill, and the inhabitants were also known as being skilled shipbuilders.
The historic park is a joint operation of both California state employees (shown on the left) and volunteers (shown on the right). These two were dressed in appropriate period costume in anticipation of a group of school kids who were making an overnight field trip to the fort. Outdoor cooking demonstrations were planned for them, as well as basket-making demonstrations, and talks on crop production. To find out about hours of operation and special events at the park, look for their name at the website of the California State Park system, http://www.parks.ca.gov/ .
Seeing this strong fortress, built on solid rock above the ocean, must have been what the psalm of David was referring to in chapter 31, verse 2 "...be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me." I am thankful that the people of California (along with the current-day leader of Russia), are taking steps to save Fort Ross--- this important location in our country's early history. So get out there and see it----better yet, volunteer at a state park near you, to preserve our history and land for future generations. Miles of smiles! Tricia