California's coastal Highway One was completed in the 1930s. Until about 1970, the roadway actually passed through the stockade of the Russian colony, Fort Ross. Later the Fort became a state park. Today the highway is a bit farther away, still right near the rebuilt fort. Look up 19336 CA-1 Jenner, California, for the road view onto the fort.

Why it might have been moved away seems obvious. Who made the original decision to run the highway through the fort, and on what basis?

View of Fort Ross stockade and buildings

  • 1
    Pic of road inside fort here
    – justCal
    Jan 14, 2017 at 2:43
  • 1
    You might consider that the obsession with historical preservation is a fairly recent development, so if the obvious highway route happened to run through some tumbledown ruins, that's where the highway would go.
    – jamesqf
    Jan 14, 2017 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


Remember, most of what you see today is restoration of what was there in the past.
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 caused a lot of damage. enter image description here

The above image from National Park Service

After reconstruction, Old Russian church at Fort Ross, California, October 27, 1929:

From http://heritage.sonomalibrary.org/

enter image description here

The stockade walls ,as we see them today, were not yet built. The material for their construction is laying on the ground in front of the church. From FortRoss.Org

After the fort became a state park, the stockade walls were restored a portion at a time. In 1929, the east, south, and part of the west walls were rebuilt.

Later image showing stockade in place by 1957: enter image description here

The park, as it exists today, didn't exist when the road was constructed. I believe they were both constructed(reconstructed) at about the same time. A 1930 California road map, viewable here, shows a road in place. Considering funding bills passed in 1912 and 1923, planning and locating the roads route had to have taken place well before the stockade was built(rebuilt) beginning in late 1929.

  • I'm sure it was in disrepair, but the stockade was original, visible in all the old illustrations. WP further says that it was in place when the Fort was sold in 1903. Jan 14, 2017 at 16:42
  • Yes, the route of the unimproved road shown on the 1930 map could be the same as that later taken by State Route 1, but I can't tell from this map. Jan 14, 2017 at 16:43
  • Remember the quake of 1906 destroyed a lot of the structures,only the roof of the church remained. There are pages of images on the sonoma library photo site, none show the stockade near any of the buildings. What is WP?
    – justCal
    Jan 14, 2017 at 17:16
  • I meant Wikipedia . a portion of the stockade (foreground) and the road (middle distance) are both visible in this post-quake photo . Earlier in 1906, California acquired the Fort, which had become a historic monument of some type. Jan 14, 2017 at 17:49
  • Good image, person standing in middle shows much of the visible structure is man-sized-farm fence. The structure near the building looks larger though, and some on the right. Shows a lot of the more modern farm buildings did survive thought, as well as the buildings they tore down for material to rebuild the chapel from.
    – justCal
    Jan 14, 2017 at 17:59

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