Russian Forts in Hawaii…

Fort Elisabeth at Waimea, Kauai…

See the link above for more details.

But the twist is, this was a RUSSIAN fort! Built around 1815, occupied until 1817 then finally ‘destroyed’ in 1864…


Looking out over the approach to WaimeaIMG_2067

From the top of the sawtooth battlement looking back into the fort.IMG_2068

Looking down on the Waimea river outflow.IMG_2070

Looking over at the next sawtooth, earthen mound, covered with volcanic rock, and smoothed on top for cannons…IMG_2071

Steps leading to the top of the battlement- Still trying to figure out how they got cannon up these…IMG_2072

Looking across the inner compound. The flag is the Russian American Company flag.IMG_2074

The ‘main’ gate, or entrance to the fort. Β The guardhouse would have been just to the left of the entry.IMG_2076

There were two more built on the Northern side of the island but these were basically dirt mounded forts, guarding two more rivers on that side of Kauai.

A very interesting ‘take’ on the history of the fort is available on the Russian History Blog HERE.



Russian Forts in Hawaii… — 13 Comments

  1. They probably got the cannons up the stairs dismounted, i.e., barrel separated from carriage. Barrel could then be carried in slings up the stairs, same with the carriage. They could even have made a primitive block-and-tackle crane to do the work.

  2. Russians…meddling then, and I’ll bet that they wish now that they were able to keep hold of that fort.

  3. It’s nothing short of amazing how armies moved cannons. I’m still amazed at how the British got cannon to the top of the mountain overlooking Ft. Ticonderoga. Today we simply VERTREP, but that’s sort of cheating.

  4. The guy who did that an early Russian scammer who promised arms for the king of Kauai to defeat King Kamehameha I in exchange for the Sandlewood trade on Oahu – but when Kamehameha got wind of it things went south. “In May of 1817, Scheffer was forcibly returned to his ship and he sailed away, leaving the half-constructed fort behind.”
    Also interesting the son of the King of Kauai became a U.S. Marine and sailed on the USS Wasp in the war of 1812 defeating the British HMS Reindeer, and then led a rebellion against Kamehameha attacking the fort – that failed…

  5. Robert- Good point, but STILL would have been a PITA… they were ROCK stairs, e.g. not even or level…

    Fla- Yep, there are some interesting places ‘off the beaten path’ so to speak…

    Dammit- Oh so true… and I’m NOT going any further down that rabbit hole… πŸ™‚

    LL- Oh yeah, can you imagine Russian Hawaii??? Shiver… And Vertrep is NOT cheating… πŸ˜€

    NC- Yeah, LOL the rest of the story, thanks!

    WSF- I’d seen it years ago, just never had a chance to stop until yesterday.

    Ed/Rick- You’re welcome.

  6. Cycles.
    How long before they retake the Aleutians and build another Fort in Hawaii?
    (Let’s piss off some more allies, shall we?)

  7. C’mon, Old NFO, you know how the officers got the cannon up there.

    They told a sergeant to get together a detail and move the cannon up there.

    Yeesh. He retires and then promptly forgets how the military works….. πŸ™‚