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History of
YERBA BUENA ISLAND

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3000 BC
native peoples of the
San Francisco Bay
Historical drawing of first inhabitants of San Francisco Bay. Sketch of two men sitting on the island hillside. tap for more info
The earliest evidence of human habitation in what is now San Francisco dates back to 3,000 B.C. by the hunter gatherer people known as the Ohlone.
1769
Spanish Exploration
Drawing depicting Spanish explorer, Don Gasper, discovering the San Francisco Bay area in 1769. tap for more info
A Spanish exploratory party led by Don Gaspar de Portola were the first Europeans known to visit the San Francisco Bay Area by land, claiming it for Spain.
1835
established the
Trading Post
Miwok Native Americans paddling a tule reed boat on the San Francisco Bay. tap for more info
The Coast Miwok Native Americans, shown here paddling a tule reed boat on San Francisco Bay, are also native to the Bay Area.
1875
esbalished
Yerba Buena Island Lighthouse
Picture of a lighthouse being built on Yerba Buena Island hillside in 1875. tap for more info
The US military began establishing operations on Yerba Buena Island in the 1870s and in 1875 completed construction of the lighthouse that still stands today. Before the days of radio beacons and sirens, this lighthouse was considered one of the most important on the West Coast.
1895
renamed
Goat Island
Pack of goats roaming the hillside of Yerba Buena Island in 1895 when the island was renamed Goat Island. tap for more info
Officially, the island was called Yerba Buena Island until 1895, when the United States Board on Geographic Names changed it to Goat Island. During the gold rush, a large number of goats were pastured there, and the name Goat Island came into popular use. The name was changed back to Yerba Buena Island in 1931.
1900
built
Naval Training Station
Exterior of Quarters One, part of the Naval training station built in 1900 on Yerba Buena Island. tap for more info
In the late 19th century, Yerba Buena Island became the United States' first naval training station on the West Coast. Quarters One was built in 1900 as the commandant’s residence and is among the eight surviving officers’ residences.
1936
construction of
Treasure Island
Aerial view of Treasure Island at the beginning of construction along with the Bay Bridge. tap for more info
The construction of Treasure Island, a 400-acre artificial island using sand dredged from the bottom of San Francisco Bay, was formally authorized by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and began in 1936. Constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers and intended to eventually become a new airport for San Francisco, Treasure Island was considered a modern engineering marvel.
1939
the
Expo and Clippers
Picture of the Elephant Towers at The Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939. tap for more info
The Golden Gate International Exposition celebrated the modern industrial west, symbolized by the completion of the Golden Gate and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges. The exposition drew 10 million visitors to Treasure Island.

In the same year, Pan American Airways' Clippers began flying passengers from San Francisco to Hong Kong, departing from Treasure Island. The Clipper Ship “flying boats” turned the three-week trip on an ocean liner into a “short” six days of island hopping.
1941
establishing
Naval Station Treasure Island
Aerial view of Treasure Island during its transition into Naval Base during World War II. tap for more info
When the United States entered World War II, the U.S. Navy took possession of Treasure Island, which became a processing station for sailors assigned to fight in the Pacific Theater. During the war, as many as 12,000 sailors were processed each day. After the war, Treasure Island was the Navy's largest separation center and served primarily as a strategic location for numerous naval activities. Since 1941, several million service members have either served at or passed through Treasure Island.
1980
treasure island's
Aircraft Hangars
Black and white photo of the aircraft hangar buildings on Treasure Island. tap for more info
Treasure Island's two aircraft hangar buildings (designated by the Navy as Buildings 2 and 3) were constructed in 1939 as two of only three permanent buildings built for the International Exposition. Beginning in the late 1980s, these buildings served as sound stages for film-making and TV such as The Matrix, Rent, and The Pursuit of Happiness. The buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
1996
the end of
Military Use
Aerial view of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island after being decommissioned in 1996. tap for more info
The naval operations on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island, as well as the Presidio of San Francisco, shown here, were decommissioned and transferred to civilian control. Yerba Buena Island’s historic buildings, including Quarters One and the other Senior Officers’ Quarters, are now publicly owned and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2011
a new
San Francisco Neighbourhood
Rendering of the proposed Yerba Buena Island neighborhood development and Treasure Island. tap for more info
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a new neighborhood development of 8,000 residences and over 300 acres of parks and open space to be built on both Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island. After several years of geotechnical work and infrastructure construction, the first residential building on Yerba Buena Island broke ground in 2019.

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