“Settlement Ross” 1841 by Ilya Gavrilovich Voznesensky
California’s vibrant history reflects a multitude of invasive ethnic groups long past the emigration of First Peoples coming down through Canada or other far horizons. Among the most intriguing adventurers were members of the Russian-American Company who ventured south out of Alaska to seek trade and agricultural venues. The fur trade was diminishing in early 19th Century waters off the Pacific coast. Harsh conditions in the far north meant scarcity of foods for increasing population growth. Exploration moved south as early as 1803 and by 1812 Fortress Ross was established on what is now the Sonoma County coastline.