Historic Fort Ross, situated on California’s beautiful northern Sonoma coast, speaks to the harmonious coexistence among Russian settlers and native peoples in the early nineteenth century. Inspired, the Renova Fort Ross Foundation hosted an international competition for a children’s tale about Fort Ross. From seventy submissions, this work, written by Maria Viryasova, a young Russian author, emerged as a favorite. Russian artist and illustrator Vera Belius infused the tale with folkloric imagery featuring historically accurate Russian dress, ornamentation and daily life patterns.
A Tale of Fort Ross is the story of Alexander, who hails from a happy family and grows up to become a famous merchant. Alexander meets Ivan from northern Russia, and the two embark on a journey over the seas to America. They love the land and build a settlement named Ross, with windmills, a fur trade, and a bountiful orchard. There they befriend the native peoples and lay a foundation for conservation, science, and peaceful coexistence. Enjoy this enchanting tale, and its message of friendship and the spirit of exploration.