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OTHER STRUCTURES

Early visitors counted up to nine structures inside the stockade. They are all on the Inventory of 1841. The six buildings seen today, the two blockhouses, the Kuskov house, chapel, Rotchev house and officials' quarters, along with the well, represent only a sample of the once rich and vibrant life around the fort, when up to 300 men, women and children and thousands of domestic animals lived here. The variety and complexity of the community is strikingly revealed in the Inventory given to Sutter in 1841. However, only one building not seen today long survived the Russian occupation: The fur warehouse was described in the 1841 Inventory as "The old warehouse, two stories, built of beams, 8 sazhens long by 4 wide. It is surrounded by an open gallery with pillars." Also mentioned by Father Payeras in 1822, it was located between the Rotchev house and the northwest blockhouse. This barn was used well into the twentieth century as a popular place for community dances; at this time the adjoining new warehouse had been combined with it by vertical board siding.

Other structures inside the stockade lost after Sutter's 1841 Inventory, and some of whose locations are uncertain are: "The granary, built of planks, 7 sazhens long by 4 wide" (this building is also called the new warehouse in the Spanish version of the Inventory prepared by Vallejo in 1833); "A kitchen, 4 sazhens long by 3 1/2 wide;" "A storehouse for provisions, planked, 6 sazhens long by 4 wide," (this last was probably one of the three storehouses mentioned by Father Payeras). This building between the southeast blockhouse and the south gate had an "attached jailhouse." In addition there were a barracks with 8 rooms and 2 vestibules, 11 sazhens long by 4 wide, and a well 2 1/2 sazhens deep. (Inventory for Mr. Sutter, 1841)

There were many important Company buildings outside the fort as well: In the "box canyon" above Sandy Cove mentioned in the Report by Vallejo in 1833 were "a beautiful house and shipyard for building ships." (The shipyard had been abandoned by 1825, but smaller boats were still constructed later.) The Inventory for Mr. Sutter calls it "A shed for the baidarkas, on beams, 10 sazhens long by 5 wide." Mentioned in the 1841 Inventory were: a "forge and blacksmith shop," "tannery," "cooperage," and "public bath, 5 sazhens long by 2 1/2 wide," all at the foot of the bluff by the creek. "Around the fort," the Inventory continues, but probably a bit farther away, were a "public kitchen," "two byres [for cattle] built of beams, 20 sazhens long...," "a corral" 28 by 20 sazhens, two sheds for ewes and swine, a dairy, a carpentry shed [with sawmill?], a cordage machine and a well.

The Report by Vallejo of 1833 was particularly impressed with the "two fine grist-mills, one powered by wind and the other by water...[off] the box canyon." They were still there in 1841, with their grindstones; the wind-powered mill had a capacity of "20 fanegas/day" [A Spanish fanega is about 11/2 bushels]. Associated with these were a "planked floor for winnowing wheat, a wooden threshing floor and a storehouse for cleaning wheat." Another threshing floor and shed were some 500 sazhens (about 1166 yards) away. Scattered around the fort was a haphazard collection of domestic buildings and gardens, arranged in "a confusing and disorienting perspective," said Vallejo in 1833, who counted almost sixty dwellings. The 1841 Inventory lists twenty-four planked dwellings with glazed windows, a floor and a ceiling; each had a garden. There were eight sheds, eight bath houses and ten kitchens. All have disappeared. Probably their valuables were taken to Sitka by the Russians, their timbers and fences used by Benitz or burned by the Kashaya, following their tradition of burning the grasslands to renew the seed plants.

Although all the above structures have disappeared forever, one Russian enterprise left strong traces for several decades--the Russian orchard on the hillside north of the fort. The Russian Inventory of 1841 lists 260 fruit trees--apples, peaches, pears, quince, cherries. Some of these plantings survived well into the ranching times; their scions may yet live on in the orchard which the Park maintains today. (The Russian orchard was greatly increased by the ranchers; William Benitz planted over 1700 trees.) There was a house at the orchard in 1841, and a "white house" up the Fort Ross Creek where lumberman James Dixon lived after 1867.