California Landscapes – Fort Ross

California, fort, Fort Ross, history, landscape, national park, North, ocean, old, realism, Russian, settlement, Watercolor, windmill

realism in watercolors
A couple of weeks ago I pointed my brushes North and went to explore some new (for me) places.

One of the stops was at Fort Ross, California

For my painting, I’ve picked up this historical landmark. I liked the scene with Old Windmill against a blue sky and the ocean.

The history of this place is interesting and rich.
(I’ve found a few interesting facts online)

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Fort Ross, originally Fortress Ross is a former Russian establishment on the west coast of North America in what is now Sonoma County, California, in the United States. It was the hub of the southernmost Russian settlements in North America between 1812 to 1842. It has been the subject of archaeological investigation and is a California Historical Landmark, a National Historic Landmark, and on the National Register of Historic Places. Nowadays, Fort Ross is a part of California State Historic Park. 
Fort Ross is a landmark in the history of European imperialism. The Spanish expansion went west across the Atlantic Ocean, and the Russian expansion went east across Siberia and the Pacific Ocean. 

For many years following the Russian presence, Fort Ross was preserved and maintained as a single large holding by its successive owners. The site was operated as a rancho through the Sutter and Benitz periods (1841-67), as a logging operation during the Dixon/Fairfax years (1867-73), and as a ranch, port and social center during 1873-1979. 

Although land use changed over time, its continuous status as a large holding helped to bridge the transition from a ranching community to the 3,386 acre state historic park we have today.

In the 19th century Fort Ross had a port in the northwest cove which was used extensively by ranchers in the surrounding community. There was a store, a post office and a telegraph station; the old Russian buildings housed a hotel, a dance hall and a saloon.

 It was one of several social centers for residents of the area. Fort Ross continues to be important to local residents, and many have volunteered their time, resources and expertise to assist in the park’s development and growth.

These days, Fort Ross has changed from a ranching community in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the popular state historic park of today.

(courtesy to WiKi and FortRoss.org)  
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