Dear Parents, AKA. Officers – First – thank you for assisting your classroom with this adventure. The ELP experience is one you and your child will remember for a lifetime. This packet is to assist you to ready yourself and your group for the overnight experience to Colony Ross. The more prepared you are, and the more prepared the students are, the better the experience for all. Please read the packet carefully. The packet is in two sections: first section is for pre-site preparations and the second section is for the onsite visit. You will want to bring the on-site section with you as it has pertinent information you will need.
that you are coming to a state park. Do NOT remove any objects
that are lying on the ground: rocks, shells, glass, bones etc.
If you find anything that appears to be historically or environmentally important please leave it where it is found and advise Park Interpretive Specialist of the item's location. All features of the park are protected. Remember: Take only pictures and leave only footprints.
Also remember that many things that have been done in the past are not acceptable today. Butchering of live animals on-site or bringing in weapons is not permitted. All butchered meat must be dressed before you bring it to the fort. State Park rules and regulations must be observed. If you have any questions please call the Interpretive Specialist.
As the Fort Ross militia, you are responsible for the defense and safety of the Fort as well as the maintenance of order among the inhabitants. Remember though, the role of the militia is protection and aid not aggression. The example you set for the others is of prime importance.
Brief History and Walking Tour - Read this to your employees in your group in the classroom and bring this information with you for your onsite tour.
Regulations and Privileges of the Employees (historic) - Read this to your employees
From The Khlebnikov Archive, Travel Notes, 1824 by RAC Commercial Counselor Kiril Khlebnikov.
Encourage students to bring a minimum of personal gear.
The names listed below are all male characters. It is OK for females to take on a male role and dress as such. It is also OK for a female to have a female name and be in the militia in a dress.
Zakharii Petrovich Chichenev - A Creole - Born to a Russian Irkutsk townsman and a Tlingit mother. By 1806 he was already wishing to stay in America. In 1819 he was sent to St. Petersburg for medical education at the expense of the Company. In 1829 he married Lukeria Petelin at Unalaska. In 1833 he arrived at the Ross Colony with his wife Lukeria and two sons Prokopii and Il'ia and a girl Katerina Kychkova on the brig Polifem. He was assigned the duty of scribe at 500 rubles a year. When Ross was sold he and his family returned to Sitka. He died February 1879.
Medical Assistant or Fel'dsher
Vasilii Kalugin - A Russian- He sailed on the ship Urup from Okhotsk in September 1831. He was then sent to the Ross settlement on the ship Chichagov. He was to treat the sick and gather plants, herbs, and other natural specimens for use in Sitka. He was put under arrest while at Ross. The reason for the arrest is not known. However, in 1835 he was still listed as the chief fel'dsher in the hospital at Ross.
Pavel (Oglayuk) Akliaiuk - Possibly a Creole - Russian American Company interpreter. He was raised at Fort Ross. We do not have dates of birth or if in fact he was born at Fort Ross. We do not have any information about him during his time at the Fort other than he served as an interpreter. He left Fort Ross when it was sold in 1841 and died in 1851.
Engineer – Technologist
Peter Andreevich Andreev - A Creole, born at Fort Ross. He was sent to Russia for education at the St. Petersburg Technological Institute. When he completed his studies in 1860 he was sent to Sitka to work. While in his position there he traveled to San Francisco to examine factories and shops for future trade relations.
Kirill Timofeevich Khlebnikov - A Russian - was born March 18th, 1785 in Russia to a merchant family. In 1820 Kirill joined Company service. He worked several years in Okhotsk in Siberia. Once he was arrested for refusing to listen to an officer's orders to change prices of goods. He was imprisoned for three months. He returned to Russia and remained in service. On September 15th 1817 he arrived at the Ross Colony on the sloop Kutuzov. He visited the Ross settlement a total of twelve times. In 1818 he became office manager for the Company. On June 19th, 1820 he was on the brig Il'mena when they ship wrecked at Point Arena. As accountant for the Company, he detailed accounts of the Ross colony regarding the employees and how much they're paid, how much was paid for what goods at the Spanish ports, and detailed records of daily life of the Ross Colony. Today his works are some of the most valued documents on the Ross Colony. He died of a stroke in 1838 in St. Petersburg.
Fedor Svin'in - A Russian- Started working for the Russian American Company in 1802. He arrived in Kodiak and then was assigned to the Ross settlement. About 1814, he worked keeping the books (also known as a prikazchik) for the Company. His salary was set at 400 rubles a year. In 1823 his salary was raised to 600 rubles. In 1831 he was to be removed from the Ross office because of shortages in the books. It was noted he owed the Company 6,000 rubles. He died at Ross on December 30, 1832. His wife, Anis'ia, a Creole, was given the house, agricultural field, and animals including one bull, two cows, and one horse. They had two sons, Alexander and Mikhail.
The following contracts for Promyshlenniki, Creoles, and Aleuts, provide a very clear picture of the advantages and disadvantages of working for the Russian-American Company. Have the students compare this to their own contract.
WALKING IN FROM THE FORT ROSS REEF CAMPGROUND:
By the time the long and winding car ride is over (you may want to supply each car with a few plastic bags in case of car sickness emergencies), the students are truly excited. It is a VERY good idea to burn off a bit of that energy before they arrive at the fort itself.
The walk from the Reef Campground to the fort is a wonderful experience. It is a short walk (only about a mile, 15-30 minutes), safe away from the edge of the cliffs, beautiful and a great way to begin the students' historical experience. It is a wonderful visual experience to see the fort looming ever larger on the coastline as you get closer and closer.
The campground is about ten miles north of Jenner. It is a good idea to plan for a snack when you arrive. When everybody has arrived, all cars will drive to the fort to quickly unload the gear, leaving behind the teacher, children and enough adults to make the walk safely. Note: The campground is closed December 1 through March 31. Please walk around the gate. There is a pay phone at the campground entrance. You must monitor the students at all times, to avoid misuse of this phone.
TO MAKE THE HIKE:
Walk downhill through the campground until you get to the parking area/turn-around at the bottom of the road. Look up the hill to the North for the trail to Fort Ross. The trail is marked. Follow the trail to the Sandy Cove; descend to the sand, cross the creek, and up to the fort. Don't rush on the hike. Encourage them to ask questions. Look at the local flora and fauna on the marine terrace and out to the sea for ships or whales. Taking your time to enjoy and learn gives the drivers more time to unload. If the cars are still unloading in front of the fort, then slow your walk or spend some time at the cove.
WARNING: On very rainy days or on days just after heavy rains, the creek may be impassable. If it has been raining, please call us at the fort a day or so before your program date to ask if it is possible to safely cross the creek.
TO DRIVE AND DROP OFF GEAR:
Drive from the campground a few miles north to the fort entrance. Go past the entrance kiosk (get a parking pass from the kiosk or the Interpretive Specialist at the fort) and drive to the dirt road at the end of the parking lot. Follow this road to the fort itself. The speed limit on this road is 10 mph. Please drive slowly.
Please find the Park Interpretive Specialist inside the Officials' Quarters for instructions. It works best to take personal gear out of the cars and put it just inside the fort wall or if the ground is very damp to pile it up on the benches or the picnic tables inside the fort. If it is raining all the personal gear will go in the Rotchev House for the day. Do not put gear into the buildings in which the children will be sleeping. Personal gear will be moved into sleeping quarters after the fort is closed to the public at 4:30. Food and kitchen gear can be carried to the kitchen area by the fire pits in front of the Officials' Quarters. You will need to unload very quickly to insure that cars are moved and drivers are back at the fort before the children arrive from their walk. As soon as the vehicles are unloaded, drive your car back to the Visitor Center Parking lot. Cars must remain in the upper parking lot during your visit! The next morning when you are ready to leave Colony Ross, you may bring cars to the front gate of the fort only long enough to load supplies.
For groups who cannot walk from the campground (light rain, heavy mist, creek too high) we request that you let the children off at the end of the parking area with supervision. It is best not to stop at the Visitor Center when you arrive in the morning because it can detract from the historical experience of the fort. Parents drive the cars down to the fort, unload gear, and then drive back to the parking area. When everyone has reunited, walk to the fort compound together to be greeted by the Interpretive Specialist. If it is raining hard please drive directly to the Fort and unload gear.
Militia Onsite Task Sheet
Officers: 1.) ________________________ 2.) _________________________
Fort Ross Militia:
1. ______________________________ AKA ______________________
2. ______________________________ AKA ______________________
3. ______________________________ AKA ______________________
4. ______________________________ AKA ______________________
5. ______________________________ AKA ______________________
6. ______________________________ AKA ______________________
Rules and Responsibilities:
Night watch: 5:00 AM-700 AM. Wake up Cooks in the Kuskov house for breakfast.
Morning: Pack personal gear, parents clean and sweep Southeast Blockhouse (8 sided). Return axe and maul to ELP closet. Re-stack woodpile. Rake around woodpile, fire pits, three legged pot, and pick up any foil or trash that is in the fire pits, clean off fire pit rocks. Check for wax and litter in fort compound. Inspect the buildings with the staff to make sure they are well swept. Help load cars. If your group is finished and another group is not, ask: "What can I do to help?"
Stockade Litter Pick Up – All groups line up shoulder to shoulder and walk the inside of the fort for a full stockade cleanup.
Morning Hike: Orchard, Beach, or Cemetery Hike.
The fort is strongly guarded. Everyone relies on the militia, who must be attentive at all times. The militia shall inspect the weapons to see that they are clean, the powder is dry, flints and all equipment are in readiness.
The militia may post themselves at the main gate. The militia shall inspect the passes of those wanting to enter. Passes should be made as a part of classroom role-development and should be carried by the students at all times.
The Militia is also responsible for checking on any sort of commotion, quarrel or disorder. Persons committing infractions should be put under guard. An immediate report must be made to the manager detailing what happened during the disturbance. Once again the taking away of rubles is a good punishment or student placed with the manager for extra duties – BUT only at the discretion of the manager.
Use only the fire pit in the compound to make fires. The fire should be no larger than is necessary for cooking and keeping warm. Before leaving the area, be sure the fire is completely out. Pick up any debris such as foil from in and around the fire pits.
Use of an Axe or Hatchet
An axe or hatchet is made for chopping or splitting wood and should be used for that purpose only. Before using such a tool, it should be checked carefully to be sure that the head of the tool is securely fastened to the handle and that the handle is firm and sound with no cracks or splits. Any person chopping wood should maintain a six-to eight-foot circle around him/herself in which no other person may stand. Adult supervision is mandatory during wood-chopping activities. The woodcutter's own feet and knees should be well away from the swing of the axe. Axes can be dangerous tools--make sure anyone using one has been well briefed on their safe use. DO NOT USE ONE MAUL TO POUND ON ANOTHER!
History of Rope
Primitive people twisted strips of hide, sinew, hair, vines, and plant fibers into rope long before they learned to spin and weave. Rope making was a universal skill known in all tribes and civilizations. Braided ropes were used in Asia before 4000 BC. Ropes were used to decorate pottery southeastern Europe in 3000 BC. The Mayas used rope to move the large blocks of stone they needed for building their marvelous temples. The ancient Egyptians developed rope making techniques in 2500 BC which they still use today. Some tribes of American Indians chewed hide and sinew into strands that could be used for rope. Rope making in Ancient India was so unique that only a special class of people made ropes. Homer frequently mentions rope in his "Odyssey". The Romans even fabricated rope out of thin copper wire. In the 14th century England, first guilds of rope makers were established. Medieval monks made ropes to ring monastery bells and to use as belts. But it was the age of sailing ships that turned rope making into a vital industry. Phoenician ships were held together by rope. Columbus had 15 miles of rope on his ship. Records indicate the Emperor of China had rope made from ladies hair. In Northern America hemp was planted along the watering holes of the western trails so that future pioneers could harvest it. Pioneers carried a rope machine when they came west for this purpose.
Rope making was common place. Every community of any size had its rope walk (places where ropes could be made by laborers who "walked" out the twists in the strands). The first American ropewalk was founded in Salem, Massachusetts in 1635. Rope making was a common colonial pursuit by 1700. Most ropewalks during this time were along the coast or in port towns because the greatest need for rope was in the fishing and sailing industries. Walks were often 900 feet or more. South England boasted a 2,000 foot ropewalk. Philadelphia had several competing ropewalks. Although smaller rope walks served the rural areas, farmers made some ropes for their own use out of flax; but they were of a lesser quality than those made in colonial ropewalks. The first ropewalk in the west was established by Hiram and Alfred Tubbs in San Francisco. Ropewalks were found indoors and out and on sailing ships. Later narrow sheds were built that were over 1,000 feet long and 30 feet wide. Three or four rope makers worked side by side in these ropewalks. Sheds were not heated in winter, not they were closed during bad weather. The long wooden sheds, filled with dry fibrous material, were moved to locations outside of town, which was an added hardship for those who worked there. Rope makers had to be skilled artisans to produce quality ropes under these conditions. The entire rope making process was influenced by the ability and experience of the rope maker. Although machines gradually replaced skilled rope makers, traditional techniques survived until after the Civil War.
Rope was one of man's earliest tools. History records rope making as far back as 7,000 years ago, and is one of America's oldest industries. The materials that man used to make rope varied and depended on the locality and use of the rope. Rope has been made out of many things (hide, hair, plant fibers, tree bark, cotton wire, silk, simple vines to name just a few). Twisting or braiding strands of these materials together made them stronger than single untwisted cords. The first methods of rope making were similar to weaving plant fibers into mats and baskets. Fibers are spun into twine, and twine is used to make rope. The rope making operation is "laying". In laying, the twine is led from a block (paddle) for the desired length to the laying machine (rope maker) and back to the block. This is repeated until the desired thickness is achieved. Rope was (and is) used to build, hoist, haul, cross obstacles, support, tie, fish, hunt, snare food, fight, furnish, clothe, and transport. Today there are hundreds of different types of ropes for a great variety of uses.
Since the ancient times, virtually every city and town in the world had an industry making rope. Russia, however, was the world's largest producer and best-quality manufacturer, supplying 80% of the Western world's cordage from 1740 to 1940.
At Colony Ross we know that there was a "machine for making cordage" listed in the Inventory and Bill of Sale from the Russian American Company to John A. Sutter, the buyer of the settlement. There are also several sheds and barns listed in the Inventory; one of which may have been used as a ropewalk.
Before the late 19th century there were no matches, lighters, or easy way to obtain a fire to readily light the candles, stoves or fires. Instead, people had to produce a flame using skill and luck with a tinderbox. These tin boxes contained a piece of steel which was shaped similar to a horseshoe, a piece of flint, which is one of the hardest substances known to man, a smaller disk of tin to cover and extinguish the loose bits of charred linen which was deemed tinder, and some small splints of wood which were dipped into sulfur and used to catch the flames once the tinder had ignited. The cover of the tinderbox was commonly made with a socket to hold a candle.
The flint was held in one hand and struck against the steel, which fit over the knuckles of the other hand. In this way, particles of metal, were heated by friction to such intensity that they burnt in the air, were torn off, creating sparks, which fell into the tinder and thus it ignited. This smoldering combustion was made larger by blowing into the tinder until it was sufficient to ignite the sulfur tipped splints of wood, which were then known as matches. The inside small cover was then used to put out the tinder and the candle that rested on the top of the lid was lit from the sulfur tipped match.
It was not until around 1830 that matches of wood tipped phosphorous were introduced. Until that time, tinderboxes were the most convenient method of obtaining a fire to light the candles in the home after dusk. After the advent of convenient matches tinderboxes began to lose their popularity and use. Before long the tinderbox was an implement of the past.
Flintlock ignition was used on most European and American firearms from the late 17th century until the 1830s. Probably invented in France by Martin Le Bourgeoys in the 1620s, the flintlock mechanism could be set in two positions – one for firing and one for safety. With its basic design improved by only a few details, the flintlock ignition not only dominated the battlefields of all major wars of that period but also was an important civilian weapon as well, used for dueling, self-defense and game shooting. Many of these weapons showed the highest standards of craftsmanship.
Night watch is a unique part of the ELP and it is mandatory. It becomes a time of reflection. Surrounded by the coastal night and sounds, students can imagine what it must have been like at the fort in the "old days". An on-site night watch log is available to record any thoughts the students may have while on the night watch. Your students may also bring their own journal to write in at night watch. Parents must sleep in the same area as their assigned group so they can get the group to watch duty quickly and quietly.
Each group will have three tin candle lanterns.
Each employee will be accompanied by an officer at all night time activities.
Lanterns should be out when the group sleeps.
No lanterns burning without adult supervision inside buildings.
Night Watch Duties:
· Keep close eye on glass candle lanterns.
· Keep the fire going- a small fire is all that is necessary.
· Each employee will have two Russian tea cakes and one cup of cocoa. Keep the teapot filled with water.
· Write in night watch log.
· Take a night hike; star gazing (weather permitting).
· Walk the perimeter of the fort as a group.
· Quietly play checkers, staves or cards to pass the time.
· Clean up your mess when your watch is over.
· Wake the next group as quietly and quickly as possible.
· Notify the teacher in case of any kind of problem.
Night Watch Reminders:
· KEEP VOICES AND NOISE TO A MINIMUM! NO BELL RINGING!
· Block the privy doors with a piece of wood to prevent them from slamming.
· Students are not to play with candles or candle wax.
· At no time should students wander off alone.
· The First Aid Kit will be kept at the kitchen area. Emergency phone is in Interpretive Specialist's office.
Night Watch Schedule and Sleeping Arrangements:
Night watch is important for the safety of the fort and the group. The following schedule is for an all-night watch. The sleeping arrangements described work well for waking one watch group while not disturbing others. Militia serves the fifth night watch to start fires for cooks.
First watch: 9:00 - 11:00 Cooks sleep in the Kuskov House
Second watch: 11:00 - 1:00 Artisans: sleep in front of Rotchev House
Third watch: 1:00 - 3:00 Hunters: sleep in Northwest Blockhouse
Fourth watch: 3:00 - 5:00 Gardeners: sleep in the back of Kuskov House
Fifth watch 5:00 - 7:00 Militia: sleep in Southeast Blockhouse
Wake-up for breakfast 7:00 - Cooks: sleep in the Kuskov House
Additional Clean Up:
Personal gear removed, floors swept, candle wax scraped off, mud/dirt swept out, litter picked up.
Fire pit area
Rake around the fire pit, put away axe/hatchet, pick-up any foil or non-burnable debris in fire pits.
Use large spider pot for heating water. Do NOT put tin washtubs on the fire to heat water.
Militia will wash dishes after dinner. For washing dishes, we provide three large washtubs: one for soapy water, one for sterilizing bleach rinse, and one for a clear water rinse. The first washtub should contain hot water and dish soap. The sterilizing solution should contain warm water with 1 tablespoon of 5% chlorine bleach to each 2 gallons of water. The utensils should be soaked for 30 seconds or more, and then rinsed in the third tub of hot, clear water. Please dry all the utensils before putting into boxes or sending them to the ELP closet. Use ash to get the soot off the pots and pans. It really works!
Putting Things Away
All of the items we provide for the ELP must be put back into the ELP storage closet by the group. One Artisan Officer is in charge of looking at the items in the closet before they are taken out, and helps to direct them back in the next morning. The completed check out list is to be returned to the Interpretive Specialist.
Please let the Park Interpretive Specialist know if anything is broken so we may be able to replace it before the next ELP group arrives.