Who knew that one of the five islands in San Francisco Bay was privately owned? Even stranger, "Red Rock Island" is now up for sale, for a paltry $10 million.
The last time we remember one of our islands changing hands was way back in 1847, when Captain John C Fremont bought Alcatraz for $5000.
Fremont was in town, as you no doubt remember, as the head of a surveying expedition. A man of action, he wasn't satisfied with merely naming the "Golden Gate", but soon precipitated the Bear Flag Revolt against Mexico, and capped off his year by becoming Military Governor of California!
Alcatraz, then known as "Alcatraces" or "Pelican Island", was privately owned at the time of the Mexican War. As both surveyor and military man, Fremont quickly sized up the island as a strategically valuable piece of real estate. He bought the Rock in the name of the United States Government.