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Red Rock Island

Aerial photograph of Red Rock Island
Abandoned Coast Guard fog bell on southern point of island

Red Rock Island (variously known as Moleta,[1] Molate Rock,[2] and Golden Rock[2]) is an uninhabited, Script error: No such module "convert". island in the San Francisco Bay located just south of the Richmond – San Rafael Bridge.[3] The property is the only privately owned island in San Francisco Bay.[3] The boundaries of three counties – San Francisco, Marin and Contra Costa – converge on this high rock. The San Francisco County portion is an incorporated part of the city of San Francisco since it is a consolidated city-county; the Contra Costa portion (most of the island) is incorporated inside the city limits of Richmond.[4]

The mountain of bright red earth and rock is Script error: No such module "convert". across from east to west, Script error: No such module "convert". from north and south, and rises out of the bay to a height of Script error: No such module "convert"..[1] It is surrounded by some of the deepest water in the North Bay - Script error: No such module "convert". deep.


Selim E. Woodworth was the first owner and resident of Red Rock Island, where he built a cabin and maintained a hunting preserve.[5][6][7] The island was once mined for manganese. It was privately purchased in the 1920s. After a series of owners, David Glickman, at the time a San Francisco attorney and part-time real estate buyer, purchased the island in 1964 for US$49,500.[3]

In the 1980s, a plan was proposed (but never implemented) to remove the top half of the island (which would be sold for highway roadbed construction). The island would then be developed with a 10-story hotel and casino, and a yacht harbor on the lee (north) side. Water and power would be provided from lines connected to the San Rafael Bridge.[8]

In June 2007, Glickman, now a gem dealer in Thailand, announced that Red Rock Island was for sale for US$10 million. He had previously attempted to sell the island in 2001, including to the California Department of Fish and Game.[9] No conservation groups or agencies have so far expressed interest in buying the island, though some have considered it.[3]

As of early 2012, the island is listed with a Realtor, and is listed at a price of US$5 million.[10][11]

See also

Coordinates: 37°55′45″N 122°25′51″W / 37.92917°N 122.43083°W / 37.92917; -122.43083{{#coordinates:37|55|45|N|122|25|51|W|region:US-CA_type:isle_dim:300_source:GNIS-231369 |primary |name= }}


  1. ^ a b "Red Rock Island". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  2. ^ a b Gudde, Erwin G. (1949). California Place Names. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 281. OCLC 1197857. 
  3. ^ a b c d David Glickman (2007-07-13). Bay Area Private Island Sold for $10M (AUDIO/TRANSCRIPT). Interview with Renee Montagne. Morning Edition. National Public Radio. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  4. ^ Scott Shafer (2007-08-21). "Red Rock Island Offers a Spot Off San Francisco" (AUDIO). Morning Edition (National Public Radio). Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  5. ^ "The Pacific Historian, Volume 25/26", p. 25, Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  6. ^ "Red Rock Island History", Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  7. ^ "San Francisco Chronicle", Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  8. ^ Patrick Totty (December 2002). "11 Islands of San Francisco Bay". The Cultured Traveler. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  9. ^ Mick Elmore (June 19, 2007). "Man in Thailand selling last private island in San Francisco Bay". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  10. ^ "Red Rock Island". Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  11. ^ "Owner drops price for San Francisco Bay Island". Retrieved 2012-07-08. 

External links