Fort Ross Vineyard
Fort Ross Chapel
The business community of Fort Ross includes a store and gas station, motel, and few vacation rental homes. Residents live either on the coast or on the ridges along Seaview Road. There artists and cottage industries in the area, and the lovely Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, located on a ridge a mile above the ocean. Fort Ross has no post office; mail is routed from Jenner, zip 95450. There is a Volunteer Fire Department and Fort Ross Elementary School is located on Seaview Road on the coastal ridge.
Almost 200 years ago, in 1812, on a stretch of the Pacific Ocean 80 miles north of San Francisco and previously un-colonized by Europeans, Russian and Alaskan explorers established what was to become Russia’s deepest vanguard into North America, Colony Ross, with the primary purpose of producing food to support the Russian settlements in Alaska as well expanding the valuable sea otter trade.
Although the Russian American Company stayed for just three decades their contributions to early California society were vast – they built California’s first ships and windmills, introduced glass-paneled windows, created the first brickyard, catalogued the local flora and fauna, completed detailed maps and were, by today’s standards, among California’s earliest entrepreneurs. Fort Ross is an excellent example of the best of California and what is has to offer the world: a rich history and diverse cultural legacy, beautiful nature and dedicated people.
Fort Ross State Historic Park
Fort Ross State Historic Park was established in 1906 as one of California’s first State Historic Parks. The mission of Fort Ross 2012 (it’s bicentennial) is to commemorate the 200 years of natural, cultural and human history of Fort Ross (known today as Fort Ross State Historic Park), increase public interest and preserve the rich and vital legacy for future generations through a series of special events featuring the diverse influences of many people, including Kashaya and Coast Miwok Native people, Alaskan Native people, Russians, Spanish, Mexican and Americans. For more information on the Bicentennial please visit www.fortross2012.org.
We encourage you to visit the park, tour through the oldest building north of San Francisco, the Rotchev House, along with the five restored buildings, visit our Museum and bookstore, hike the many trails, and explore the natural surroundings which are breathtaking. We offer special events throughout the year and offer the park grounds for weddings in the Chapel. There is much more - please visit the website at www.fortrossstatepark.org