"Is always the last Saturday of July -- and we are winding up for our bicentennial by adding new events to the festivities. Try your hand at an old-world craft, watch the re-enactors of the Ross militia and Hudson's Bay Company, and learn from the local Kashaya. It's a wonderful way to spend a day in the fresh air with your family. "-from organizers
Fort Ross Celebration of Russian America 1812-1841
EVENT DATE & TIME:
Saturday, July 31, 2010, 10:00AM to 5:00 PM
Fort Ross State Historic Park,
19005 Coast Highway 1, Jenner, CA 95450
From 1812 to 1841 Russian American Company Settlement Ross was home to a unique blend of cultural groups—Russians, Creoles, Native Alaskans, and Kashaya and Coast Miwok Native Californians. On Cultural Heritage Day join us as we celebrate this cultural diversity and history.
Tentative Schedule of Events
10:00 Opening Ceremony
10:15 Russian Orthodox Church Service
11:15‐12:00 Russian Folk Music & Dance Performances
12:00 Musket and cannon demonstration
1:00‐4:30 Russian Folk Music & Dance Performances
3:00 Musket and cannon demonstration
5:00 Gates close
Activities Ongoing All Day
(1) Fort Ross Compound— Join costumed participants for a festive day of Russian singing and dancing in the fort.
Demonstrations and activities such as blacksmithing, spinning, needlework, storytelling, baking, metalworking,
woodworking, and historic firearm interpretation will be portrayed. Visitors are invited to join in activities such as basket
making, rope making, candle making, dancing and games. Musical and dance performances tentatively scheduled by
Slavyanka, Russian House Kedry & others.
(2) Fort Ross Visitor Center—Local Kashaya Natives share traditional language and culture. The rich history of Fort Ross begins
with the Native Californian Kashaya Pomo who have inhabited this area for centuries. Descendants of these first
inhabitants will tell you about their history.
(3) On the bluff in front of the fort—Hudson’s Bay Camp. The Hudson Bay Bonaventura Brigade filed past Fort Ross in 1833 and
camped nearby, but on this day they will be here to share their story.
(4) Fort Ross Sandy Cove—Explore the beach and watch demonstrations in the use of Native Alaskan baidarkas (kayaks)
throughout the day.
Food available for sale to the public at the Call Garden Picnic Area
Fees: $20 per car; $15 senior; Bus (10+ passengers) $3.00 per person
(Limited mobility shuttle van available)
No Dogs Please
A Russian business conglomerate headed by one of the richest men in the world is riding to the rescue of California's Fort Ross State Historic Park on the Sonoma coast.
Viktor Vekselberg, the billionaire president of the Renova Group of companies, a major Russian firm, signed an agreement Tuesday night in San Francisco with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to provide "substantial financial support" to keep Fort Ross open and to provide "a long-standing solution" to Fort Ross' budgetary difficulties.
The agreement is supported at the highest levels of the Russian government. Vekselberg accompanied Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the Bay Area on Tuesday to foster ties between U.S. and Russian high-tech businesses.
The Russian president stood at Vekselberg's side as he and Schwarzenegger signed the agreement and afterward lifted a glass of Champagne in a toast to California.
Schwarzenegger said he planned to send a California trade mission to Russia.
For his part, Medvedev said he had heard a lot about California and San Francisco. The city, his first stop on his U.S. tour, "is really fantastic," he said.
Renova will set up a nonprofit charitable foundation called the Renova Fort Ross Foundation, which will provide money and other support "to raise awareness of the historical and cultural significance" of the fort. It was not clear how much money is involved, but in 2009 the state said the park's expenses were $800,000 more than it took in in fees or other income.
"This is the first time a foreign nonprofit has come forward to preserve the history of another country," said Ruth Coleman, director of the California state park system.
The Schwarzenegger administration considered closing Fort Ross last year because of the state budget crisis. Instead, the fort's budget was cut back and this year it was only open three days a week.
A stir in Russia
The idea of closing Fort Ross, the only Russian colonial settlement in California, caused a sensation in Russia last year and the Russian government dispatched Sergey Kislyak, its ambassador to the United States, to the windy outpost to show its support for the park.
Kislyak called Fort Ross "wonderful proof that the U.S. and Russia have a rich, largely positive shared history." He also wrote letters to Schwarzenegger and enlisted the aid of Medvedev and Vekselberg.
Vekselberg toured Fort Ross on Tuesday morning.
"He thought it was a very charming and wonderful museum," said Sarah Sweedler, president of the nonprofit Fort Ross Interpretive Association, who helped show him around.
His support, she said, "is really a silver lining to the budget crisis."
Last year Fortune magazine estimated Vekselberg's net worth at $1.8 billion. The tycoon has a fascination with Russian history.
Schwarzenegger hailed the agreement with Renova.
"It is exciting to see Renova get involved in preserving this important park and create a public-private partnership to increase the services at Fort Ross at no cost to the taxpayers," he said in a statement.
Natalie Sabelik, president of the San Francisco-based Congress of Russian Americans, said the Russian community in the Bay Area had bombarded Schwarzenegger with letters urging the state to keep Fort Ross open.
"Fort Ross is as important as the Spanish missions" to the history of California and the West, she said.
Fort Ross was founded by the Russian American Co. in 1812 as a base for seal and otter hunters and to supply food for Russian settlements in Alaska.
The fort prospered for a time, and the Russians set up a seaport at Bodega Bay, explored the interior of California, planted vineyards and established farms near what are now the Sonoma towns of Graton and Occidental.
Sale to Sutter
By 1841, the Russians had decided Fort Ross was uneconomic and sold the settlement's livestock and buildings to John A. Sutter, the Swiss adventurer who founded Sacramento.
Twenty-six years after leaving Fort Ross, the Russian government decided to sell its Alaskan colony to the United States and pull out of North America.
But Fort Ross has always held a special place in Russian history.
"It is a memorable landmark in Russian-U.S. relations," Ambassador Kislyak told Schwarzenegger in a letter last summer.
Chronicle staff writer Carla Marinucci contributed
to this report.
Photos by: Svetlana Holmes
Saturday, June 12, 10 am to 2 pm
Saturday, August 7, 10 am to 2 pm
Kids and grown-ups alike will get creative with natural materials in an outdoor Presidio setting.
The ingredients for the day include wood, leaves, stone, pine cones, bark, branches, water, and imagination.
Bring a picnic lunch or snack. Meet at the Exhibition Pavilion.
Last weekend me and my son joined Opening Day Celebration for Presidio Habitats
. With given map we explored part of the park at Fort Scott we never seen before including amazing outdoor art installations. We also were given a Presidio Quest
for young naturalists made by our friends from http://urbikids.com
and planning to come again there to complete it. Here is some info about the Presidio Habitats exhibit which will be open during May 16 2010-May 15 2011
Presidio Habitats is organized by the FOR-SITE Foundation
in partnership with the Presidio Trust. Open:
May 16 2010-May 15 2011Location:
Corner of Storey and Ralston Avenues, Presidio Park, SF
- Outdoor installations are located along Presidio sidewalks, historic paths, and trails.
- The exhibition starting point—the Exhibition Pavilion—is at the corner of Storey and Ralston, across from the Log Cabin in the Presidio's Fort Scott District.
- Parking at Fort Scott.
- The Exhibition Pavilion hours through October 31, 2010: 11 am - 5 pm, Wednesday-Sunday
The Presidio of San Francisco is a 1,491-acre national park site and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Presidio was in continuous use as a military post from 1776 to 1994, spanning the Spanish, Mexican, and United States periods. In 1994, after the post became excess to military needs, it was transferred to the National Park Service.
The Presidio in its entirety is a National Historic Landmark District. It houses one of the finest collections of military architecture in the United States with approximately 469 historic buildings contributing to its landmark status. The Presidio’s landscapes, including the historic forest, Main Parade Ground, golf course, San Francisco National Cemetery, and historic gardens, also contribute to the park’s landmark status. The area’;s transformation from mostly open dunes into a richly forested and designed setting is one of the Army’s most impressive accomplishments in landscape architecture.
Over millennia the Presidio’s geology, topography, and climates created a mosaic of natural landscapes. Many generations shaped these wilds, from the Native Americans who were first sustained here to the Spanish, Mexican, and American settlers who brought their traditions and created an enduring military presence at the Golden Gate.
The Presidio is a refuge for once-abundant and diverse ecological communities that have been all but lost in the urban Bay Area. The park’s remnant natural areas contain some of the last examples of San Francisco’s once-extensive dune and serpentine native plant communities. The Presidio is home to thirteen different native vegetation communities supporting 300 native plant species, ranging from wildflowers to oak woodlands. Sixteen are rare or endangered, including five protected by the Endangered Species Act. Examples include San Francisco lessingia, Presidio clarkia (wildflowers found in only two locations worldwide), and Raven’s manzanita.
The park’s habitats support a wide range of wildlife. More than 200 bird species ranging from year-round residents like Anna’s Hummingbirds, Red-shouldered Hawks, and Great Egrets to migratory species like Violet-green Swallows and Red-throated Loons can be spotted here. Migratory invertebrates, such as monarch butterflies, also visit the Presidio. The park is home to mammals, reptiles, and aquatic species, including the native gray fox, alligator lizard, and three-spined stickleback fish.
“We had an amazing adventure on Saturday afternoon. Thanks to Urbia Adventure League organizers our treasure hunt at Strybing Arboretum was a blast. Kids could hardly wait moving from one destination point to another and looking into their adventure book for the next task. Along with kids we learned a great amount of information on different garden plants and its life species. Being often visitors to Botanical Garden to our surprise we were discovering parts of the Park we have never seen before and it was a great reward itself. Thank You! We can’t wait to do more exciting adventures in a near future!”
– Lana (Maxim H. Mom) review of Urbia