Thar Might Be Gold in That Thar Island

Forget owning a castle, if you have the millions ($22 million, naturally), why not buy an island? This island, to be exact:

And here’s some context:

On the real estate site Zillow, Red Rock Island inexplicably shows up  on the intersection of Van Ness and Pacific Ave., instead of it’s real location just south of the Richmond/San Rafael bridge:

The following comes directly from the listing:

Red Rock Island is the only privately held island in San Francisco Bay and is offered at $22M for the mineral rights and bragging rights.

Woah, mineral rights and bragging rights?

Well, the bragging rights go without saying. Imagine using the line, “Your place or my island?” Instant deal-closer. You’ll be loading up your private helicopter with babes or hot dudes (or both) in no time.

But what’s with those “mineral rights”? Just what kind of “red rocks” are we talking about here? Bismuth? Manganese? I’m not sure what the market is for paint pigment these days, but I can’t imagine it would cover your costs of mining. Don’t forget you’d also have to invest in an industrial-strength rock tumbler to get those other rocks show-ready.

That’s not all the island has to offer, though. According to sea kayaker and explorer Storm Steiger:

Russian and Aluet fur hunters camped on the island while pursuing the huge population of sea otters found in San Francisco Bay in the early 1800s.

Be still my otter-loving heart. That was the 1800s, though. Those otters have skipped town by now.

It was also known as a great place to gather firewood.

Bummer. We all love making fires, but most San Francisco fireplaces have been filled in.

But wait, what’s this?

Did pirates bury their gold on Red Rock? On old charts the island was called Treasure Rock and Golden Rock because of such tales.

Now we’re getting somewhere. What’s more appealing than pirate gold? With all that alleged treasure you might actually break even on the $90,000 monthly payment.

There’s all kinds of interesting information on Storm Steiger’s site, including the story of one entrepreneur who hoped to build a 20-story hotel on the island only to be shot down by the city of Richmond. There’s also a ton of info on this homestead site. Be sure to do your research before buying.

11 Responses to “Thar Might Be Gold in That Thar Island”

  1. truth says:

    The privileged making fun of Richmond in an article not even about Richmond.

    Kudos.

  2. Jim says:

    A good part of this island is in the City of Richmond, CoCo Co.

    The rest is in Marin and SF Cos.

  3. tacoTuesday says:

    Seriously–there are a lot more shootings in Richmond than stabbings.

  4. gordonedgar says:

    Wow. I had no idea it was privately owned.

    I went there in high school once. It is mostly seagulls and seagull shit.

    • Anthony says:

      A friend of mine in High School used to go there and get drunk. He had a speech impediment- couldn’t pronounce r’s. So he would say he got ‘wipped on wipple on wed wock’. Really.

    • janeth says:

      Wow! Who wudda thunk that a cheesemonger had actually visited the red rock…I was thinking maybe a kool natural foods store would consider the location..a serious tourist destination.

  5. chalkman says:

    Larry Ellison should buy it for America’s Cup seating

  6. wcw says:

    Its owner (this guy: http://www.scottmurray.com/a_life_well_lived.htm) bought it in 1964 for $50k, or about $350k in 2010 dollars. He first tried to sell in 2001, then again in 2007, asking $10m the second time.

    If you want to buy it, wait for him to die and his heirs to put it out at market price. I’d put dollars to donuts the eventual sale price is closer to $1m than to $22m.

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