To say that Charles Crocker was irritated by his neighbor, Nicholas Yung, was a massive understatement. A rich railroad tycoon, Crocker wa...

Man Refuses To Sell His Home So His Rich Neighbor Tries Another Tactic Man Refuses To Sell His Home So His Rich Neighbor Tries Another Tactic

Man Refuses To Sell His Home So His Rich Neighbor Tries Another Tactic

Man Refuses To Sell His Home So His Rich Neighbor Tries Another Tactic

 To say that Charles Crocker was irritated by his neighbor, Nicholas Yung, was a massive understatement. A rich railroad tycoon, Crocker wanted to buy up all of the residential space in the area, but Yung refused every offer that came his way. So Crocker, who was not one to take "no" for answer, dreamed up the pettiest scheme to get his way, which created one of the most bizarre neighborhood disputes in history.

Yung's Work Ethic

Things weren't at all easy for Nicholas Yung when he immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1848. But, that didn't stop him from working hard to eventually carve out a decent life for himself.


Earning A Living

Yung, who relocated overseas to San Francisco with his wife Rosina, worked his way up to owning a lucrative mortuary. With the money he raked in, he and Rosina looked to purchase their first home.

Kremer Funeral Home

California Street Hill

They settled on a lot located at San Francisco's scenic California Street Hill. The money from the mortuary in no way allowed them to live like a Rockefeller, but they were able to snag an adorable cottage.

University of California

A Comfortable Beginning

It wasn't huge, but for Yung and his wife, it was perfect. They also had a garden in the front that Rosina tended to daily, ensuring their California Street Hill spot was as comfortable as possible. But then Charles Crocker showed up.

Charles Crocker Takes Charge

All of Yung's comfort came to a screeching halt when Crocker set his eye on California Street Hill. The wealthy businessman was ready to take charge and force anything in his way out of the picture.

Wikimedia Commons

A "Big Four" Baron

Crocker grew his fat bank account through lucrative investments he made during the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. As one of the "Big Four" barons, his wealth afforded him anything he wanted.


Taking Control Of The Hill

And, what he wanted to do was lord over San Francisco like a gargoyle, controlling whatever it was that displeased him. He was also joined by some of his wealthy associates, as well.

Ready For Control

At the same time, the other men who invested in the Central Pacific Railroad along with Crocker were all pompous and arrogant magnates, ready to take over land wherever they settled. It was actually one of Crocker's friends who suggested California Street Hill.

Leland Stanford's Push

The former governor of California and the eventual founder of Stanford University, Leland Stanford, was the one who made the push for California Street Hill. Seeing the opportunity as wise, Crocker and others took the leap.

Stanford University

The Magnates Move In

Stanford funded a cable car so residents didn't have to schlep up and down the massive hill every day. Once it was installed, it seemed like every day a new lot on the street was snatched up by someone rich.


The Nob Hill Rename

Crocker himself had an absurdly enormous 12,000-square-foot mansion erected; he wanted everyone to know just how powerful he was. After nearly all the homes were bought up, California renamed the area Nob Hill.

dougsf / Flickr

Discovering A Sore Spot

It seemed like everything was going according the Big Four's plans, seeing as they owned nearly every residential building on the street. However, there was one sore spot Crocker soon recognized.

Yung's Refusal To Leave

Nicholas Yung was still living in his cottage, and he refused to sell his land to anyone willing to buy it. This left Crocker furious, but the railroad baron was willing to offer Yung a large sum of money.

Channel Four Films

Settling On Pettiness

There are differing accounts on exactly what went down, but what is known is that Crocker kept offering larger sums only to have Yung turn it all down. So, Crocker resorted to the pettiest solution possible.

Wikimedia Commons

Workingmen’s Party Swoops In

Seeing as Yung wouldn't budge, Crocker legally installed a 40-foot tall fence around Yung's lot, leaving the couple in darkness. However, once the Workingmen’s Party of California found out about Crocker's bullying, they stepped in.

Crocker Forces A Win

Not only did they condemn Crocker for his "spite fence," but he was also under fire for working Chinese immigrants tirelessly. Crocker still didn't take down the fence, and not long after the protest, Yung and Rosina vacated the property. It looked like Crocker had won.


Rosina Still Stands Firm

However, just because the Yungs left didn't mean they sold the land off. Even after Nicholas died in 1880, Rosina stood firm until her death in 1902. Crocker's descendants finally got the land. He won! But that didn't last.

The Strand

San Francisco Earthquake

The San Francisco earthquake that rocked the city in 1906 completely destroyed most of Nob Hill. After the disaster, Crocker's family didn't even bother rebuilding, and they donated the land to charity instead.

San Francisco Chronicle

Grace Cathedral

Funny enough, the land that once played host to one of the most petty neighborhood disputes of all time saw the construction of the Grace Cathedral years later. A very interesting contrast to what once existed in its place.


Neighborly Dispute Gone Too Far

It's a shame Yung and Crocker couldn't have found common ground during the dispute. Crocker's "spite fence" power move was certainly over the top, but even today, neighborly battles can go so much farther than anyone could imagine.


Neighbor Troubles

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but one Australian mechanic would strongly disagree. The young man, known on Reddit as AngryAussieGam3r, had neighbors that were making his life a nightmare.


After toiling away at work all day, AngryAussie was looking forward to a night out on the town with his mates. However, he spotted something in his apartment building's garage that immediately soured his good mood.


Some strange car had blocked him in! He waited around, hoping the driver left the vehicle there while making a quick drop-off, but AngryAussie was out of luck. With no other option, he had to call one of his friends to pick him up instead. Then things got worse.


In the following weeks, the rude car kept showing up at odd intervals, preventing AngryAussie from driving. He left a series of polite notes on the perpetrator's windshield, but he never saw any response or change in behavior. He couldn't believe this!

The Mercury News

The Bad Explanation

Frustration building, AngryAussie guessed that the driver was someone who repeatedly got drunk and conveniently "forgot" to move his car out of the way. It was a decent theory, but he had no hard evidence of how to identify this serial jerk.

Parking Jobs

AngryAussie came across countless examples of people responding to bad parking jobs on the internet. Unfortunately, this car owner didn't seem to respond at all to shame. The mechanic would have to apply a different strategy — and fast.

Can't Miss

The rude neighbor was making him late on an unpredictable basis. He never knew when to expect the car to block him in, so he would often have to walk or hitch a ride without warning. And AngryAussie had one upcoming obligation he couldn't miss.

Weekend Getaway

It wasn't often that he and his six closest friends could all get together, but they had a weekend getaway coming up that required AngryAussie's car. In order for the special trip to happen, he needed to make sure he wasn't parked in.

Facebook / Jonathan Kyle Theron

Making a Move

Hoping the proper authorities could take care of the problem, AngryAussie contacted his building manager. The guy refused to even address the problem, or even identify the car's owner, so the mechanic decided to get more serious.

Spark Supers


When he found himself parked in yet again, AngryAussie called a towing company. Because his vehicle was up on the garage's third story, however, they would not accept the job. He would have to take matters into his own hands.

Not long before his big trip, AngryAussie searched through his auto shop for some tool to help him out of this jam. He smiled — a rarity in those days — as he came across just what he was looking for.

The morning of their big vacation, AngryAussie and his friends entered his garage to find the worst possible scenario. The jerk blocked his car again! Strangely, AngryAussie didn't lose his cool. He just ran upstairs and grabbed a strange metal contraption.

He explained to his pals that he borrowed a vehicle positioning jack. Its wheels and hydraulic pump would allow them to easily lift up a parked car and move it wherever they wanted. Rubbing their hands in glee, the friends got it in position.

YouTube / Chris Steibel

As they boosted the car up, AngryAussie's eyes darted around the garage. While they weren't doing anything illegal — like stealing the car — it might not look that way to any security guards in the area.

Luckily, the coast looked clear. Moving as quickly as they could while pushing a two-ton car, the seven mates each got a handhold and started to heave it toward a distant, dark corner of the garage. AngryAussie's plan soon became apparent.

Pacific Coast News

He found a spot at the end of the garage where they fit the rude neighbor's car perfectly in between the wall and a pillar. The owner would easily be able to enter or exit the car, but moving it would be another matter.

With only a few inches of space at the front and back of the vehicle, its driver would have a miserable time getting it out. Most likely, he'd have to angle it forward and backward a staggering number of times to pull it out of the spot.

Satisfied with their work, AngryAussie and his six friends jumped in his car and sped out of the garage. Each of them agreed they'd never had so much fun parking a car before. They were far from your typical valet service.

Even while enjoying his getaway, AngryAussie couldn't help but wonder about the jerk driver. How long would it take him to find his car? Would he even try moving it? Upon getting home days later, he immediately returned to the scene of the crime to check.

Australian Traveller

Understandably, the car was still there. But a few days later, the unimaginable happened: AngryAussie never saw the problem car again! Even though this clever mechanic got some revenge, there were still other villainous neighbors out there taking up space in the most evil ways possible.

By 2018, Bryan Tucker of Sandston, Virginia felt like a caricature of an old man: he spent his mornings shouting at kids to get off his lawn and devising methods to best send the message.

Stress Management

See, Bryan lived behind a bus stop where young kids waited for a ride to elementary school. Those kids played loudly on his well-maintained yard, and worse, they often left behind trash.

"They don't respect other peoples' land," Bryan said. So he called the county, and "they refused to do anything about it. They said it was my responsibility if the kids get hurt on my land."

So Bryan put up no trespassing signs. He installed cameras on his property. He incessantly asked the children to stay off his lawn. He even asked the parents to keep the kids off the lawn. Nothing worked.

As the new school year approached — and with visions of liability lawsuits dancing in his head — Bryan launched a plan he hoped would finally end the trespassing problem.

On the first day of school, parents bringing their kids to the bus stop saw a new addition to Bryan's home: a fence wrapped all the way around his yard. Then a parent touched the newly erected fence...

...and felt a shock! Shaking his hand from the sting of the shock, the parent understood the new addition to Bryan's yard — an electric fence! And he wasn't the only one to realize it.

"My daughter walked out and said 'he's got a fence up,'" another neighbor said. "Then someone said it was electric and I said 'whoa no!' If something happens to one of those kids they're going to have a lot of angry parents."

Local parents banded together in outrage, but each parent was bothered by a different aspect of Bryan's countermeasure. It bothered concerned parent Wayne Milby, for instance, that Bryan didn't put up a warning sign.

But Bryan showed news crews that there was indeed a sign... 15 yards away from the bus stop. It was slapped on the battery that powered the fence and read "Solar Intellishock." It had pictures of cattle on it.

Other parents noted that, while the shock wasn't painful, it sent the wrong message; "I understood his concern," one neighbor, below, said. "I just don't think he understood the neighbors' concerns."

As one parent put it: "The first day of school, really? C'mon now." The timing made the fence feel more malicious than a genuine protective measure. So neighbor Wayne offered an alternative solution for Bryan...

"You know, a regular fence," Wayne said, probably would've worked just fine. Frustrated with Bryan's fence, neighbors called the county police at 9:15 a.m. that morning.

That same day, Henrico County Public Works Director Steve Yob arrived at Bryan's house to inspect the fence and measure the yard. But if the fence was on Bryan's property, it was completely legal.

Steve's findings? Engineers took measurements and did research, he said, "and [Bryan's] yard starts further off the road from where the fence is. Where that fence was put is clearly county right-of-way." In other words...

Bryan had to take down the fence because it wasn't technically on his property. He did so without a fight. He "made a mistake and offered to correct it," Steve said. But Bryan wasn't giving in just yet...

In truth, Bryan didn't anticipate that parents and the community as a whole would be so outraged by the fence. But he was happy the fence started what he called an important conversation.

"The message has gotten across, I'm pretty sure, to everybody," Bryan told the local news. "It's all over social media. Neighbors are driving by, parents are posting and talking about it."

It's unclear whether Bryan took the fence down permanently or just moved it back, but parents hoped he'd take after the house's previous tenant and just put out a trash can for the kids.

Either way, with the word out there, Bryan could give his vocal chords a rest from yelling at kids to get off his lawn! And, more importantly, hopefully, the neighborhood kids could get to school without getting shocked!

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