The Pacific region of the 18-19th centuries was the arena of joint development
of new territories of both the Russian Empire, and the United States of America.
2017 is a significant year – 200 years since the founding of the Russian settlements
and the largest fortress, Fort Elizabeth/ Pā ʻulaʻula, on one of the Hawaiian Islands
- Kauai. The Russian seafarers under the leadership of Georg Schäffer, an employee of
the Russian-American company and the manpower of locals constructed three fortresses
with an arsenal, barracks and a guardroom; trading stations were erected and gardens
were laid out.
The King of the island of Kauai, Kaumualii, granted the seafarer, Schäffer and
his team several Hawaiian settlements and a number of territories where they carried
out a series of renaming of streets and gulfs, the valley Hanalei was called Sheffertal,
the river Hanapepe - Don, and local leaders were given Russian surnames.
In two years Schäffer built buildings for future trade settlements and three
fortresses, having named them in honor of Alexander I, his wife empress Elizabeth
and Barclay-de-Tolly. Up to now the remains of the stone Fort Elizabeth/ Pā ʻulaʻula,
located near the mouth of the river Waimea still stands. Walls of the Fort Alexander
and Barclay-de-Tolly were made of dirt and nothing remains of them now. On the site of
the Fort Alexander located in the gulf of Hanalei a few remnants of the foundation remain.
Barclay-de-Tolly's fortress was located near the mouth of the river Hanalei. Seafarers
helped several hundred Hawaiian workers, who were
provided by the King of the island with construction.
Fortress Elizabeth/ Pā ʻulaʻula - one of the main tourist attractions in Kauai is a
National Historic Landmark and is part of the Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park.
The complex of constructions of the Russian era have been recognized as a national
American historical monument.
The land area of 17.5 acres represents a big octagonal stone structure which is on
the river bank of the Waimea. Length of the fortress is 300-450 feet in the cross-sectional
diameter with walls 10-15 feet high. Within the territory, the stone base and partial walls
of the former Russian structures have remained: which were once Storehouses, barracks and