Commemoration of the 200th anniversary
of the Russian fortress Fort Elizabeth
on the island of Kauai

This year, Russia and the United States commemorate the 200th anniversary of
the Russian settlements and founding of the Russian fortresses Fort Alexander,
Fort Barclay de Tolly and the only one remaining, Fort Elizabeth
(Hawaiian: Paʻulaʻula o Hipo), on the island of Kauai. These events are a bright
page of the history of positive relations between Russia and the United States.

In this commemoration, we plan to hold a celebratory ceremony, a forum, round table,
exhibition, a proposed restoration project of the settlement and presentation of
several books, as well as a traditional Hawaiian reception and cultural show. Our
goal is directed toward strengthening humanitarian ties and mutual understanding
between the two nations. We view this as an excellent opportunity to remember the
contributions which Russians made in the development of the American continent and in
the growth of the spiritual life of the indigenous people of the US.

Steady growth of interest of the citizens of our countries in the pages of history,
joint efforts in the field of preservation and promotion of historical and cultural
heritage will help to revive communications between our people and to overcome the
current decline in relationships between the countries. An opportunity to touch this
joint history gives an extraordinary force of influence and raises awareness of
participation of the two nations with each other. Additionally, it can give an enormous
boost to Hawaii’s travel industry (specifically Kauai) and economy. We hope to attract
the attention into restoring Fort Elizabeth to its full historical potential, generating
global interest for academics, historians and tourists.

Our mission

The island of Kauai is annually visited by thousands of tourists.
Our purpose - to keep and popularize the general historical and cultural
heritage and the Russian-American history in Hawaii, to hold a number of
events commemorating the 200 anniversary of the Russian settlements and
Fort Elizabeth. Restoration of Fort Elizabeth, as a symbol of
Russian-American friendly relations will become one of the long-term
goals as a result of these events.


Courtyard by Marriott Kauai @ Coconut Beach hotel.
With unparalleled views of the mountains and the ocean, and a breathtaking location on the Emerald Island, you will experience a memorable getaway to the Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach. You have the opportunity to relax in a resort with a beautiful beachfront location, and guest rooms featuring complimentary high-speed wireless Internet, in room refrigerators, and private lanais allowing you to soak up the Hawaiian sun.

650 Aleka Loop, Kapaa Hawaii 96746
Phone: 808-320-3687,
Fax: 808-822-0035

Thank you to our sponsors

Silver sponsor:

Bronze sponsors:

General sponsors:

Friends of Fort Elizabeth:

Alexander Portnyagin, Ivan Podvalov, Elena Olkhovskaya,
Eugene Solonin, Fedor Yakimoff

Media sponsor:

This project will receive informational support from American and Russian media.
These proposals can be expanded and supplemented as mutually agreed. Additional
exclusive options are also possible. The uniqueness of the project provides for wide
coverage, and as a result - the sponsor's association with this event will gain
recognition on a wide international level. The sponsor gets a rare opportunity to make
a statement within a short time.

Become a friend


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 other buildings.

Presented by

Congress of Russian Americans
Russian Center New York
Novosibirsk State University of Architecture, Design and Artss

in Cooperation with:

State of Hawaii
Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
Division of State Parks

with Special Support of:

our organizing team:

Natalie Sabelnik, Elena Branson, Alexander Molodin

Oleg Chursin, Victoria Sabelnik, Elena Anderton, Natasha Owen, Robin Joy Wellman