Russian Fort Elizabeth
Kaumualii Highway, Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii
The remains of a mid 19th Century Russian fort stand at the bank of the Waimea River—but why? A Russian trade company built the fort in an attempt to retrieve goods seized by Kaumuali'i, then King of Kauai. However, the company’s representative, a German doctor named Sheffer, convinced Kaumuali’i that the Russians were there to help him win control of Kauai back from King Kamehameha (the ruler of the united Kingdom of Hawaii). Sheffer’s plans were foiled when the Tsar learned of Sheffer’s unauthorized promises to Kaumuali'i, and he was ordered to return home. Instead, Sheffer fled to Brazil. Today, a scattering of red stone ruins are all that remain of Kauai’s short-lived Russian adventure.