Talk:Fort Ross, California

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Meaningless insertions/deletions[edit]

There should be a way to avoid/exclude meaningless insertions/deletions such as recently accomplished by 50.0.108.38Федоров (talk) 15:05, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Initial Assessment under wiki proj california[edit]

Can reach B class without a lot of work. needs more setting detail (eg ecology and land use) and needs more references. Anlace 23:35, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

New local information[edit]

I have placed this into its own section, the title of which I have my doubts about so I invite anyone with a better idea to change it. In the future, can we please add this kind of information in an orderly fashion rather than any old place in the article you feel like typing?

I fixed the link for the FRP so it no longer points to a dab page and so that it's a more normal style (full name first, then common acronym), but frankly I think this will be a redlink forever -- or if not, its non-redlink status will probably be strictly temporary. I don't think such a group meets Wikipedia standards for notability. (It might stick around anyway if it's sufficiently interesting, so go for it. Just don't get your hopes up too high.)

I also removed the "See also" link since there is no article there and may never be; most of the relevant information is right here. TCC (talk) (contribs) 06:35, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

I see that the FRP article has already been up and deleted. I cut the paragraph here entirely since it didn't seem to be of sufficient general interest. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:55, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Redirect and disambiguation[edit]

I have rearranged these articles so that the redirect points to Fort Ross, California and added {{redirect}} to that article to point back to the dab page. As it was, there were two dozen articles linking to Fort Ross that would have needed disambiguation to Fort Ross, California, and none at all to Somerset Island and Fort Ross. It seemed fairly clear that Fort Ross unqualfied generally meant the California site. (It is indeed a historical site of international importance.) This seemed the best solution. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:29, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Thanks, David Kernow 08:46, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Adding my thanks as well - Introvert ~? 09:27, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I've split apart Somerset Island and Fort Ross to Fort Ross, Nunavut and Somerset Island (Nunavut). --Rosiestep (talk) 02:08, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Question[edit]

I was just there. Why is it called Fort Ross? Ross isn't a Russian name. Ross = Rus = Russian? XPav 00:14, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

That's the best guess. I include it if I could remember where I read it. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:37, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Ahh, here we go. http://www.parks.sonoma.net/rosshist.html - The name "Ross" is generally considered to be a shortened version of "Rossiya," the Russia of Tsarist days. XPav 19:40, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
That's what the source says, but I have no idea why they say it that way. There's nothing particularly Tsarist about "Rossiya"; it's just a transliteration of the Russian word for "Russia", "Россия". TCC (talk) (contribs) 19:58, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
It's true -- "Rossiya" means "Russia". It's possible that the author was saying "Tsarist days" because after the revolution of 1917 (which overthrew the Tsarist rule) Russia became known as the Soviet Union. So the name "Rossiya" is from the Tsarist days (I think it's officially called Russian Federation now). Python 07:15, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
It is very funny! Official name Russian Federation or Russia (tr/ Rossijskaya Federaciya or Rossiya) learn Russian Language, it is useful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.19.98.136 (talk) 20:41, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I added a reference with a source claiming that the name of the fort is indeed from "ros" or "rus". Worth noting that the Spanish/Mexicans in California always referred to it as "El fuerte Ruso" -- the Russian fort. babbage (talk) 08:25, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

I have added the original Russian-American Company's name for Fortress Ross (Крепостъ Россъ) that appears on the first official Russian document sent to Madrid at the request of the Spanish Court in 1817. (A copy today can be found in the Naval Archives in St.Petersburg, or at http://www.fortrossinterpretive.org/rsnaresearchprotected.php). Map No. 1331-1-221. Naval charts drawn the same year by the navigator aboard the KUTUZOV also show this name being given to the colony (see the same link, maps 1331-4-153, 154, 155 ). The present name "Fort Ross" can be traced to a set of charts produced by the French trade attache Duflot de Mofras in 1840; "Carte Detaillee du mouillage du Fort Ross et du Port De La Bodega ou Romanzoff dans la Nouvelle Californie, occupes par les Russes."(http://www.fortrossinterpretive.org/rsnaresearchprotected.php) Ltkizhi (talk) 14:28, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, but that does not seem to solve the problem. Россъ does not seem to mean anything in Russian. A back formation from Fuerte Ruso seems better, but I have no evidence. (I could not get to the web site without a password.) Benjamin Trovato (talk) 01:44, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
I do not comprehend how Mr. Trovato can ignore all of the above explanation, including the rather authoritative note that Fort Ross is what the Russians themselves name it. To Russian speakers "Ross" clearly is an adaptation of "Rossiya" used to name this place. The most simple answer most likely is usually the correct one. These have been far too many words devoted here to a trivial issue.Moryak (talk) 17:07, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

It is minor but I don't think trivial. The beginning of the article, with the name in English and then Russian, implies that the English name comes from the Russian name. Later the article, in making the point that the name is Russian and not Scottish, could lead the reader to infer that the name comes from French, meaning "Russian Fort".--Richardson mcphillips (talk) 13:47, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Norman Davies and fort Ross[edit]

In his "Europe: between East and West" Norman Davies quotes someone else's book that between 1/4 to 1/3 of fort Ross inhabitants were Poles (exiled from Poland after Kosciuszko Uprising). Hence I have introduced "Poles" intro the list of nationalities inhabitating fort Ross. Szopen 08:32, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Curious how a third-hand reference to an unnamed book is perceived to be sufficiently authoritative to be included in the WIKI article. This approach is unprofessional and references to Poles should be excluded until somebody can find more persuasive evidence. Further the entire parenthetical statement is irrelevant to Fort Ross and should be stricken since it speaks to the nationalities that were subjects of Tsarist Russia and NOT specifically to the residents of Fort Ross.Федоров (talk) 22:02, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

As to the claim that all ethnic groups of the Empire were represented at Fort Ross, I think the present page doesn't infer that, but only states the following subjects (Poles, Finns...etc) were part of the Russian Empire. According to various census there were at any given time, in addition to ethnic Russians: Finns, Ukrainians, Estonians,Baltic Germans, an African, Kamchadals, and several native groups from both Alaska and California.(Ltkizhi (talk) 16:14, 27 June 2012 (UTC))

Terms of lease/arrangement with New Spain and Mexico needed[edit]

In the intro passages, that is; the impression given so far is that it was part of Russian America, but it was definitely in New Spain and then in Mexico and there were agreements governing its presence....can someone lay this out clearly please? i seem to recall it was established at first without Spanish say-so but terms were quickly reqched, and there were later disagreements with Mexico. Note also I changed the phrasing about "the southernmost in continental North America" as "continental" is redundant, unless others had been posts in, say, the Santa Barbara Islands or the Isla de Guadelupe; the only other settlements were at Sitka (on an island) and Kodiak (on the continent), other than those in the Aleutians etc. I also took out the nonsense about there being Russian settlements in this period in BC, Washington and Oregon, which there just weren't (regional history might have been very different if there had been); apparently this is popular mythology in Russia about Russian America, but it's nonsense. Another big quibble is the claim that all ethnic groups of the Empire were present in Fort Ross - that would have been a lot of employees if that were the case....would somebody please bring this article up to "historical snuff"??Skookum1 (talk) 14:15, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

The controversy concerning Russia's right to occupy territory 30 miles north of the Presidio of San Francisco (the limit stipulated in the first Nootka Sound convention of 1790) was never satisfactorily resolved. Each subsequent Russian naval or company expedition had to deal with this question. When Otto von Kotzebue, Captain of the naval brig Riurik's round-the-world scientific expedition arrived at Fort Ross in 1815, he was immediately drawn into negotiations with the Spanish in San Francisco about Colony Ross's withdrawal. He astonished the colony's founder, Commerce Counselor Ivan Kuskov, by being sympathetic to the Spanish side. Three years later Vasily Golovnin, Captain of the naval sloop Kamchatka, offered a different perspective. His view, in contrast to Captain Kotzebue's, was supportive of the right of Russia to occupy Northern California: “The Spaniards never possessed this part of California and never had settlements here. Proof of this can bee seen in the voyages of the celebrated navigators La Perouse and Vancouver: both unanimously affirm that during their stays in California (the former in 1786 and the latter in 1794) the northern most Spanish settlements on this coast were found on the southern part of S[an] Francisco Bay in latitude 37E 48' [N], and that they knew nothing about the northern part of this bay, and I learned from the Spaniards themselves in Monterey that they founded the last mission of San Rafael in the northern part of this bay in [1819]. This was after the founding of Fort Ross” Captain Kruzenstern, who remained interested in the concerns of the company, wrote in 1825: “…that the Spanish never had a settlement north of the port of San Francisco, which constitutes the northern boundary of California. Nor have they strictly any right to the possession of the coast to the north of San Francisco. Here begins New Albion, discovered by the English, not by the Spanish.” The matter continued to be debated until the sale of the colony to Johann Sutter, a Mexican citizen of Swiss origin in 1841. Ltkizhi (talk) 20:34, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

  • Ltkizhi, I expect that all of the readers of this page would appreciate knowing the source(s) of the statements you make immediately above. Can you please provide them?Moryak (talk) 21:24, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
  • The paragraph above is taken from Imperial Russia Encounters Colonial California: Impressions and Interactions, 1806-1841 Documents from Russian Archives, A National Endowment for the Humanities & Fort Ross Interpretive Association Collaborative Research Project. Documents Compiled and Translated by James R.Gibson & Katherine L.Arndt, Glenn J. Farris, Alexei Istomin, John Middleton, and Alexander Petrov. General Editor Lyn Kalani.

The specific quotes by Golovnin and Kruzenstern come from the following source documents;

Golovnin: Russian State Archives of the Russian Navy,f.7,op.1,d.24,fol. 160v-164

Kruzenstern:"Notes on ports and Ross and Franchesko"4th October,1825". In I.A.Istomin,J.Gibson,V.A.Tishkov.Rossiia v Kalifornii[Russia in California.](Moscow:Nauka,2005),p.570. (Ltkizhi (talk) 16:14, 27 June 2012 (UTC))


  • Histories of Russian America clearly note that Fort Ross did not come into existence in some arrangement with the Spanish. In fact the Russians acquired the land in a direct deal with the local Indians. Spanish control over northern California north of San Francisco came as a result of an extension of influence after Fort Ross was established (1812). Through the early 1800s the northern most Spanish outpost was San Francisco. Only in 1817, the mission of San Rafael was founded in Marin County, followed by the last Spanish mission in Sonoma in 1827. These two Spanish moves have been assessed to be the Spanish crown's attempt to block Russia's possible further expansion into Alta California. When the Russians folded up the settlement at Ft. Ross they sold their lands to a Mr. John Sutter on whose properties in another part of northern California gold was later discovered.Moryak (talk) 17:21, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

refimprove etc[edit]

I'm not up on switches for "article issues" as I should be; by "refimprove" here I mean the need for item-cites, not just additional sources, but specific cites for specific statements. As for advertising, this still reads a bit like a brochure rather than a proper history, and the volunteering section, which was inappropriately in second place, I've put down after the weather; this shoudl not be a recruitment page. Cleanup's not so bad except maybe for section-formatting but all articles could use cleanup :-) ; some sloppy history/almost peacock stuff has been purged from the article so I didn't bother with the peacock tag....Skookum1 (talk) 01:29, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Refname/notes/references[edit]

The ref tags in use should be using "rename" and the references given in what is now the References section should be integrated so they display as outcomes of the use of refname/ref tags; "Notes" and "References" here are the same section, really, and should be combined.Skookum1 (talk) 13:37, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Sloboda image[edit]

If you double click on this the two lables contradict.Benjamin Trovato (talk) 07:04, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Quite right ! The caption on the Sloboda image on the Fort Ross page is correct: The image of the Vosnesensky water-colour should be on the the photo file page Ltkizhi (talk) 20:34, 21 March 2010 (UTC) In addition, the caption on the file page reads that it is a water-colour, and the page states the image has been re-touched. Is this an attempt at forgery ?

The photograph of the Sloboda was supplied to the Fort Ross Library in the early 1990's by Dr.Oleg Bychkov from Irkutsk, Russia, and does not represent any image from Fort Ross, as there are no existing photographs of the settlement from the Russian period. The contributor should check his or her sources before adding erroneous information such as this. Ltkizhi (talk) 18:34, 13 February 2013 (UTC)


Windmill information[edit]

I have removed the sentence "The Russian American Company’s primary mission in California was to hunt sea otters for their fur. Eventually, the otter population declined and in order to maintain the colonies up north in Alaska and at Fort Ross, the windmills were built" because it clearly contradicts information contained in paragraphs two and three under History:Russian-American Company which states the Company's purpose in establishing Fortress Ross was for agricultural purposes - not sea otter hunting. The author of the windmill section should have consulted the footnote (no.3, Dmytryshin, Basil; Crownhart-Vaughan, E.A.P.; Vaughan, Thomas (1989). The Russian American Colonies 1789-1867. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 0-87595-147-3.) which contains the quote " The main administration of the Company reports the start of a new [Russian American] settlement in 1812, some 40 versts from the port of San Francisco in a small bay called Bodega. This settlement [Ross] has been organized through the initiative of the Company. Its purpose is to establish a [Russian] settlement there or in some other place not occupied by Europeans, and to introduce agriculture there by planting hemp, flax, and all manner of garden produce;" (page 33, After December 16,1813: A report to Emperor Alexander I from the Russian American Company Council, concerning trade with California and the establishment of Fort Ross) I have not corrected the rather poor grammar of the article Ltkizhi (talk) 04:47, 26 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ltkizhi (talkcontribs) 04:39, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

I have removed the word "replica" and replaced it with "modern interpretation" as the re-constructed windmill is not a replica in the accepted sense; "an exact reproduction". It is clearly not so, and only resembles the best known representation of the windmill in Voznesenski's famous water-colour of 1841. In Voznesenski's painting there is no side porch on the left side of the mill-house, and the pedestal for the housing is sided over the cribbed framing, which it is not in the modern version. Curiously the model in the visitor's centre originally came with the exterior siding over the cribbing, but it was left out because the Park preferred the more rustic look of the construction elements. The windmill can only be said to be a version of a 19th century (perhaps early 20th century) Vologda Province windmill, and has been erected as a tourist attraction (not even near the presumed site of the original)rather than a serious attempt to represent a Russian windmill from the first half of the nineteenth century. Ltkizhi (talk) 04:57, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Cemetery information[edit]

I have removed the names of the two archeologists because it seems unfair to mention their efforts without mentioning the other archeologists involved in over three decades of archeological investigations at Fort Ross State Historic park (not to mention early attempts at amateur archeology carried out before 1906)

In addition, a decades-long controversy, still unresolved as of this writing (2012) surrounds the "restoration" of the Fort Ross cemetery by California State Parks. Led by a scholar from the Russian Academy of Sciences, a diplomat from the Russian foreign service, former directors of the Fort Ross Interpretive Association and numerous members of the northern California Russian-American community, the controversy surrounds the uniform placement of the 131 simple "temporary" wooden orthodox crosses placed by an "ad-hoc" committee and Russian Boy Scouts as being historically in-accurate and carried out without proper scholarly oversight. Ltkizhi (talk) 19:20, 19 February 2012 (UTC)