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THE OFFICIALS' QUARTERS

The house for Company employees, which has 10 rooms and 2 corridors; 10 sazhens [1] long by 31/2 wide. Inventory for Mr. Sutter, 1841.

Probably the first building constructed after the fort walls were erected, the long, sturdy officials" quarters parallels the sea just inside the stockade. An anonymous account of Fort Ross under Kuskov reports a "communal barracks" constructed within the first year of the fort's existence; however this could also refer to the main soldiers' barracks which was located on the east side of the stockade area. The officials’ quarters now seen in the fort is reconstructed on the location of one of the longest surviving original Russian buildings. Its demise began only when its timbers were used to reconstruct the chapel in 1916. Its reconstruction was completed in 1981. The building now contains a dining room with an adjacent Russian stove for warmth and bread baking. There are a storeroom, a wood shop, a metal shop, a "jail room," and several individual sleeping rooms. Exhibits in this building do not necessarily reflect the activities which took place in the "officials' quarters." The office of the Fort Ross Interpreters may also be found in this structure.

[1] A sazhen (Russian) is seven feet or 2 1/3 yards. In the French version of the Inventory for Mr. Sutter the term is toise, in the Spanish, braza, each meaning fathom. The correct translation is the seven foot Russian fathom, called a sazhen.(Glenn J. Farris)