Fort Ross State Historic Park
9 in HIGH x 4 in WIDE
(22.86 cm HIGH x 10.16 cm WIDE)
Gift of Adam Nilsen

12-page pamphlet giving information about and photos relating to Fort Ross State Historic Park. Contains details about the history of the Russian settlement and information about the buildings. This publication belonged to Irene (Switchevsky) Hopkins, grandmother of Oakland Museum of California researcher Adam Nilsen. Irene's mother, Tatiana, was born in the town of Staraja Russa in the Novgorod province of Russia in 1898. She and her husband, Herculan Herculanovich Switchevsky, who was a lieutenant in the Russian Imperial Navy, fled from Vladivostok in 1922 to Shanghai, where they joined thousands of other Russians who fled Communist Russia. In Shanghai, Tatiana's daughter, Irene, and granddaughter, Julie, were born, and the family enjoyed their hometown and were involved in the Russian Orthodox Church and other Russian organizations. In 1948 the three women, a widowed Tatiana, divorcee Irene, and young Julie, fled during the advance of the Communists in China. They, along with 5,000 other Russians, were relocated by the International Refugee Organization to the Philippines, whose government had offered them the island of Tubabao as a refuge. Although they spent almost two years camping in tents, the women left with fond memories of the beautiful beaches, monkeys, and the jungle environment. They were excited when the opportunity arose to emigrate to the United States--they had long had their sights set on San Francisco, and in November 1950, they boarded the General Hersey and sailed there. The three lived in San Francisco for the next 25 years and were active in the Russian community in the Sunset and Richmond Districts. Irene, her second husband Berwin ("Burr") Hopkins, and daughters Julie and Carol enjoyed exploring their home state, and this is a brochure that they collected on one of many excursions. Being Russian, the family felt a special connection to the former Russian settlement in California.

Used: Irene Hopkins | Tourist

Bookmark and Share