Although Russian fur hunters had established temporary shore stations in Alaska earlier, the Three Saints site was intended to be a permanent colonial settlement. The site was poorly chosen, for the hillside above the shore area was too steep to build on, and the shore area was too small for a substantial settlement. When it was visited in 1790, it was described as a cluster of small structures (probably barabaras), with a population of about fifty men and a small number of women. The site was harmed by subsidence and a probable tsunami in the wake of a 1788 earthquake, and Alexander Baranov in 1791 began moving the settlement to the location of present-day Kodiak. The site continued to be occupied as a smaller station of lesser importance until roughly the mid-19th century, at which time it was relocated to a site about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) away.
Only a few remnants of the Russian occupation remain on the surface. These are mainly pits and rectangular depressions, indications of where structures were located, and some plants that are evidence of the small-scale agriculture which was practiced there. The settlement's cemetery was located to its southeast. Excavation at the site also yielded evidence that it was built on the site of an older native settlement, dating to c. 100 BCE.