Fort Ross News and Opportunities

Fort Ross Festival, Training Opportunity for our Volunteers, Fort Ross Quilt Project, and 'Get to Know You' Parks Program. 


Fort Ross, c2012

Fort Ross State Historic Park is getting ready for our annual Fort Ross Festival held July 26th from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM where we celebrate the cultural diversity that makes Fort Ross such a unique place. The event is one day this year with scenarios, music, militia, crafts, and more all centered in the fort compound. We are reaching out to all our volunteers and anyone else who would like to volunteer with us to make this day a success. For good planning, we would like to ask you to respond as soon as possible if you plan on volunteering, with the latest being July 19 if you are wanting the free lunch.  There are many benefits in participating such as meeting other people of like interests, working with a team of dedicated staff, and meeting hundreds of enthusiastic visitors who love to learn, earning service credits for high school students, and contributing to your local community. As is our tradition, we will continue to focus on the everyday inhabitants and cultural aspects of this settlement.  We ask our volunteers to not just “look good,” but also give voice to the past, sharing your knowledge of the cultural diversity, crafts, arts, architecture, history and traditional activities of the early 19th century Ross inhabitants and neighbors. Our goal is to show the public a small piece of California and world history that will stimulate appreciation for our past and encourage a search for more information. With your help, we will present a wonderfully rich facet of Fort Ross that people of all ages will remember for years to come. BEFORE THE EVENT:
  • Please take some time to learn (or brush up on your) Fort Ross background history.  Contact park staff if you have specific questions or visit our website at or  Also there are many wonderful books available in the Fort Ross library and bookstore.
  • Please take time to develop your own character and costume.  PLEASE wear an era appropriate costume. Be prepared for warm or cool weather. And remember a hat and sunscreen!
  • Sign up for your own interpretive activity approved by the Fort Ross interp staff or work at one (or more) of the following stations:  basket making, rope making, candle making, children’s games (tug of war, etc.), gate greeter, farmer (cutting grass with scythe, with livestock or poultry, or ?), or showcasing your own living history themed project. Your RSVP is necessary for volunteer scheduling and meal planning! We must hear from you by July 19th.
  • For volunteers that are registered in advance, this is what they will receive:
If you work four (4) hours: ü  Free Admission to the Festival ü  Free Parking ü  Lunch the day you work ü  One year free membership to Fort Ross Conservancy  
  • If you are signed up for the militia you are required to attend the practice drill at 8:30 AM the day of the event. You MUST check in with any personally owned arms within an hour after your arrival on site. And remember that being in the militia does not prevent you from also being involved with other CHD demonstrations and activities.  YOU MUST BE TRAINED and SIGN UP AHEAD OF TIME TO BE IN THE MILITIA.
  • If you wish to borrow a costume (and the earlier the better!), before your arrival please contact us   Please note: clothing must be checked out from the costume locker no later than 9:00 AM on Saturday.
  • OVERNIGHTERS – You are welcome to stay over on Friday night to be ready for the event on Saturday. Here are your options:
o   the Reef Campground is open on a first come first served basis and camping fees will be waived for Friday and Saturday nights (7/25/14-7/26/14) for pre-registered volunteers only.  To pre-register for camping at Reef Campground, please email Please note: pre-registration for Reef Campground does not guarantee you a campsite, it only allows you to camp without paying camping fees. o   You are also welcome to stay in the fort compound. All volunteers staying overnight MUST be signed up ahead of time. And just a friendly reminder – all camping gear and vehicles must be moved to the upper parking area before 9:00 AM. o   There are also many options for overnight camping or lodging in our area. Please check the Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce site or the Russian River Chamber site.
  • More information for our volunteers regarding meals, parking, and other logistical details and questions will be forthcoming to those who sign up by July 19th.
  For costumed and fort volunteer tasks please contact Robin Joy Wellman at If you are the quiet behind the scenes type, we also have many tasks for you that don’t require wearing a costume. Please contact Sondra Hunter at Thank you – we are looking forward to a great Fort Ross Festival     'A Piece of Fort Ross' Would you love to be a Piece of History? Join us as we create a quilt for the 150th Anniversary of California State Parks called “A Piece of Fort Ross’. California State Parks would like to have 150 quilts for online showing and Fort Ross wants to be a part of this. Our goal is to have the 'Piece of Fort Ross' quilt ready by July 20 to showcase in the online show and at  Fort Ross  Visitor Center throughout the summer on through December.  If you would like to participate your name will be added to our quilt database, where we will keep you posted on news about the quilt, where it will be shown, and when it gets placed online via the quilt webpage: . We will show the quilt in various locations with our partners throughout Northern California starting next year. For your efforts you will receive an Official Quilter Certificate from California State Parks. Here is what we need:
  • 12 by 12 square with the actual art work piece to be 10 by 10. The square will have one inch borders which allows for some variance.
  • The quilt square can use any medium i.e.  painting, photo on the square with hand stitching, embroidery, layered and pieced material, etc.
  • Have a focused theme of something related to Fort Ross.
Timeline: All squares need to be into Fort Ross by July 15 to the address below.  To send the square via postal mail: Robin Joy Wellman , Fort Ross State Historic Park , 19005 Coast Highway 1  ,Jenner, CA 95450 Please send all inquiries to me at the noted email or give me a call at 707-847-4777. Thank you, Robin Joy Wellman     Volunteers are invited to attend the 'With All Due Respect ' (WADR)  training at Fort Ross SHP. The training is provided to all State Park employees and volunteers by the Human Rights office. Dates for the training are 7/15, 7/16, 7/17, and 7/24. Please contact me at to sign up to attend.