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Organization name: Fort Ross Interpretive Association
Date range: 2006-2011

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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BR-50044-08Public Programs: Interpreting America's Historic Places: Implementation GrantsFort Ross Interpretive AssociationRotchev House Museum Exhibit at Fort Ross, California10/1/2008 - 9/30/2010$114,049.00Lyn Kalani   Fort Ross Interpretive AssociationJennerCA95450USA2008Museum Studies or Historical PreservationInterpreting America's Historic Places: Implementation GrantsPublic Programs11404901140490

Production of exhibits, displays, a walking tour, a museum panel, and a website tour for the Rotchev House Museum, home of the last manager of the Russian-America Company in California.

The Rotchev House Museum exhibits will enhance understanding and appreciation of one of the oldest remnants of early European contact in Colonial California, the significant but little known legacy of the Russian-American Company settlement at Fort Ross 1812 - 1841. Exhibits will be created in the only surviving Russian-built structure in the continental United States. Research findings have enlightened us about the unrecognized Russian contributions to 19th century California history: they were the first to scientifically record the natural and cultural environment; introduce important technological innovations; and pursue harmonious relationships with the Native population. The Rotchev House exhibit will bring this information alive for the first time, and enlarge understanding about this era of history for a wide audience. The now empty rooms will be brought to life with displays and objects depicting the life of the last manager of Fort Ross and his wife and children.

RZ-50572-06Research Programs: Collaborative ResearchFort Ross Interpretive AssociationThe Coast of Colonial California Through the Eyes of Russian Mariners: Fresh Perspectives From Russian Naval Archives7/1/2006 - 1/31/2011$100,000.00Lyn Kalani   Fort Ross Interpretive AssociationJennerCA95450USA2006U.S. HistoryCollaborative ResearchResearch Programs10000001000000

Preparation of a book consisting of translations of Russian accounts of travels in early California. (36 months)

In the early nineteenth century, the Russian Navy made numerous voyages to the west coast of North America. These naval ships carried highly-trained scientists and naturalists who created the earliest records of life in California. The records and documents relating to these voyages became the property of the Russian government, and are now stored in the Russian State Naval Archives (RSNA) in St. Petersburg, Russia. Very little has been published in the English language relating to the majority of these Russian voyages. We propose that a team of Russian and American scholars search the RSNA to identify and publish journals, maps, scientific notes, and illustrations that were produced during these voyages to early California.