Richmond native lives on SS Red Oak Victory

Richmond native 'lives rent-free' on SS Red Oak Victory
Desiree Heveroh (Image from the World of Nuance feature).

By Kathy Chouteau

If you visit the SS Red Oak Victory ship on the Richmond waterfront, you might meet Desiree Heveroh, who lives there rent-free. She was the recent subject of a World of Nuance video on YouTube that garnered more than one million views in just one month. 

It’s no wonder. The video tells the tale of the WWII Victory ship-turned-museum and Heveroh’s volunteer role providing routine maintenance, basic security and oversight of this last-remaining, historic vessel built in the Richmond shipyards.

A Richmond native, Heveroh is uniquely suited for her role mothering the Red Oak Victory. She previously worked as the executive director of the Richmond Museum of History and Culture. She also served as the East Brother Light Station’s innkeeper off the city’s coast. Currently, she also serves as innkeeper of the Hotel Mac.

Heveroh said she is excited by all the attention the World of Nuance video is getting, saying she takes pride in bringing that burst of attention to Richmond’s floating museum.

“I’m thrilled that there’s some good news about Richmond out there for a change, some attention for the Red Oak and support for a Homegrown Rosie!,” she said. “Everybody wins!”

The Red Oak Victory, powered by Heveroh and an all-volunteer crew, is open for tours and events and can be found at 1337 Canal Blvd., Berth 5, in Richmond, CA. Questions? Email [email protected].