Ill Hacker Creek Owner Apologizes to his Neighbors

Kitchen in Hacker Creek home

The owner of the property where the recent diesel spill occurred has had two small strokes and is in San Francisco receiving medical attention according to his realtor, George Rolff. “Chef Albert wants to tell everyone–his neighbors–he’s sorry that it happened.”

Rolff goes on to explain that the owner was in Thailand for months, having leased the property, and had just returned to the area a few days before the spill happened. “He is cooperating fully with authorities…He doesn’t want to sell but it is the only way to pay for cleanup.” According to Rolf, the latest estimate is $85-125, 000 in cleanup costs. “[The job] will take as long as a month to be complete.” When asked if rains were necessary to entirely flush the area, Rolff stated that to the best of his knowledge that since the soil was being removed until all diesel was gone flushing the area with rain was unnecessary. The site of the alleged indoor marijuana grow should be in good shape soon.

The 42 acre parcel is now listed on Country Real Estates’ site (click on Red Gypsy Ranch) with many photos of the house and land. Although the list price there is $575,000, Rolff informed me that the actual price is now $625,000. The “outrageous” home has 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths as well as an inground swimming pool and other custom features including tile work and a pond. The current owner is a well-known chef, formerly owner of The Red Gypsy Restaurant (where Cecil’s currently is in Garberville.) Thus, the cooking area is, as Rolff explains, “quite a functional kitchen.”

With 2200 square feet, 1000 of it added in the last few years, the home is roomy and beautiful. Country Real Estate claims it is an

Inspiring home with top of the world views. Fantastic water with large pond. Lots of decking and designer pool with hot tub. Lots of garden space with ready to plant beds. PRIVACY, privacy with end of the road location. Good alternative energy with generator back up.”




  • Thank you Kym. Although from time to time I think it might be nice to live in a more rural area of Humboldt County, I don’t think this is the time to move. Being located in Loleta is convenient to the office in Fortuna, schools, and shopping. A friend of mine’s grandfather once owned a big ranch in Salmon Creek and knows this property. It certainly is beautiful! Thank you for sharing the pictures.

  • Good reporting Kym. Thanks

  • $125ooo down and $4500 a month. for a 2 bedroom house? no wonder there are so many indoor grows, how else would a person earn enough income to make that payment? one could get a house in downtown San Francisco or LA for 625ooo. one could also get income property in eureka or arcata for 625ooo.

    my point is that im saddened that this property will need to continue to be income property. im sure that a new “ecogroovy” grow will be running on that parcel before the new year. how else will the land payment get met?

    property values are WAY WAY WAY out of whack due to the pot industry.

  • This is a cycle. The costs of buying land are so much that people commit to indoor operations in order to pay off the land. The amount of money made in indoor drives up the costs of land–around and around the wheel turns.

  • Also, I should mention that there are other “bedrooms.” They just can’t be listed as such unless they have a closet. Many hill bedrooms were made to accommodate wardrobes instead of built in closets so the place actually has many more possible sleeping areas than two.

  • kym,
    i understand about the bedroom issue, but for 625ooo i would expect a mansion. the value is in the land, not the house anyways.

    the land is only valuable for growing pot. the land isnt prime ranchland, its too expensive to be able to be sustained with a timber harvest plan, its too steep to farm, too far of a commute to and from real jobs. if it werent for pot growing, that land would be next to useless. illl bet mckee sold that property for 20ooo originally. i sure wish i would have had the foresight to see the increase in land. i can remember almost purchasing 40 acre parcels for 40-50 grand less than 20 years ago.

  • Theo, I agree. Some of the property we are living on was purchased at a $1000 per acre and considered expensive then. Now, that is soo cheap.

    I don’t think that is McKee land though. I think it was Early Ranch and sold by Bertain originally but I could be wrong.

  • The entire Early Ranch was purchased for $80,000 in 1972, and then subdivided, as I recall. You could buy a 40 for less than $10,000 if you came early (not a pun). The roads were almost unusable but the land was pretty nice and some of it spectacular. Ticky Early kept the ranch house piece and actually moved the house. No one wanted the piece as it was all meadow. The way the ranch access was converted to subdivision (multiple) access is a legend in SoHum real estate chicanery. If you ask me in person, I’ll tell you but I’m sure not going to write it down. Some of the players are still living and, I’m sure, still unamused.

  • P.S. Did anyone ever eat at the Red Gypsy?

  • You have piqued my interest. I can’t wait to find out the details.

  • I didn’t but people have told me it was really good albeit not cheap.

  • i didnt realize that this was the early ranch. so this property is acessed from the thomas loop road?

  • Well, there isn’t a Thomas Loop rd. There is a Samuel’s loop rd but the spill property is on the upper Thomas rd. almost to Seely Creek–except there is no through access from Salmon Creek to Seely Creek.

  • Certainly is an interesting “original” house. I like the shape of the pool.

  • The gardener in me craves some landscaping but the bones of the house are beautiful.

  • Here’s some perspective on land prices. My first place, a 40, from John Benbow, end of Doody Ridge Road, 15,000, 1972. My current place, Salmon Creek, 1975, 80 acres, 23,500.

  • Jim, the prices in So. Hum are high and in Salmon Creek are outrageous. Young families are priced out of the market anymore. I started to say the good part is our homes are worth a bunch but that only has value if you are willing to sell and I’m sure not.

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