In the spring of 1812, Ivan Kuskov, a peg-legged officer of the Russian American Fur Company, was the first white man to walk this coast.
With a group of 120 Russians and Aleut Indians, he
was looking to establish a trading station and base to hunt sea lions and otters.
Although Spain claimed this territory, none of its subjects had ever visited; so Kuskov
did not seek any permission for his
gave the nearby Indians three horses, three pairs of breeches, three blankets, two axes and a handful of beads in exchange for the 1000 acres to establish Fort Ross.
In contrast to the Pomos, Kuskov
men struggled to obtain a livelihood by tilling the soil, planting orchards, raising livestock, logging redwoods, and harvesting sea otters.