Hank Birnbaum was our tour guide. He was extremely knowledgeable about the Russian settlement, Fort Ross which was established as a Russian commercial venture in 1812 to A help supply food for settlements of the Russian-American Company that were already in existence in Alaska at that time, and B to harvest highly valuable otter seal skins which the company could then sell to wealthy Chinese merchants for a substanial profit. Hank speaks Russian fluently and having lived in Siberia for over a decade was able to give us insights about the history and culture of Russia during the 19th century when Russia was trying to establish colonies in North America. Taking this tour will dramatically enrich your understanding of and appreciation for Fort Ross State Historic Park. The geography and landscape surrounding the Fort is breathtaking - another reason to visit this site which is north of Jenner, California.
Hank is full of information and brought life to Fort Ross. Extremely knowledge! Fort is very well maintained. The display room covers native life, russian time period and afterwards. Well done!!
This was a unforgettable experience. The guide, Hank Birnbaum, was awesome. He found the way how to make the tour extremely interesting for all three generation of our family, from kids to grandparents. In a very short time we have seen a lot of secrets of Fort Ross and had a deep dive into the history.
Hank our guide was very knowledgeable and brought the fort alive with his stories. It was an hour tour that could have lasted longer. Well worth the time and trip.
Hank gave us a wonderful tour! My husband and I learned a lot about the brief Russian presence in California and their relationships with their neighbors.
This time we took the trip and had Hank narrate. He made the event come alive. Will recommend this trip to our friends.
This tour was amazing!! Hank was our private tour guide and really made this trip memorable and fun. He was not only knowledgeable about the history of Fort Ross, but also spoke fluent Russian and had spent time in Russia as well as with the natives of the area. This only further added to the authenticity of the tour. Fort Ross is full of so much history and culture which is really brought to life during a private tour. The tour allows you access to areas not on the public tour as well as some pretty neat photo shoot opportunities. My dad took a picture with a musket in in Russian military gear which he loved. The Fort itself is on a beautiful landscape and in addition to the fort there is a nearby cemetery and orchard. I highly recommend packing a lunch and spending a whole day to check out all the fort has to offer. Great tour, thanks Hank !
If it wasn't for Hank it would have been pretty boring just looking around by ourselves.
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