Goat Island

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Can anyone tell me where "Goat Island" was located other than SF? I believe the name has been changed but I keep running into roadblocks. My ancestors are believed to be one of the first settlers there. Any help is appreciated. Linda Barron Wetzel

-- Linda Barron Wetzel (gwetzel@ix.netcom.com), November 17, 1998


Goat Island is now called Yerba Buena Island. It is the large island in the middle of the Bay Bridge. Yerba Buena was restored as its official name in 1931. There is an interesting article on the island at: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Valley/2171/hgybi.htm You will find many references in recent San Francisco newspapers because of some political shenanigans.

-- Joe Thompson (anonymous@anonymous.com), November 20, 1998.

the california indians "The Costanoan Rumsen" people were the first people to live on the island and we are still live and well living in calif. am i a tribal member

-- al "redowl" redd (redowl2bears@nativeweb.net), December 10, 2001.

Yerba Buena Island was called Goat Island before 1850 after which its name was changed to Yerba Buena. The named was changed to Yerba Buena because the town of Yerba Buena had its named changed to San Francisco and the name Yerba Buena was then available and the city preferred that it not be used as the name for another city that might spring up because it would be less likely to be used if an island already had the name. In about 1895, for some strange reason, the city was no longer paranoid about the name of Yerba Buena and changed the name back to Goat Island and then of course changed it back to Yerba Buena in 1931. In regards to Barron and Wetzel, I never heard of any early settlers by that name but then again I guess not everyone had his name recorded from the island though the major settlers did.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy@my-deja.com), December 11, 2001.

In regards to the "The Costanoan Rumsen" people, I am not sure if that was their real name or if that was the name the white man gave them to classify all of them along the coast. There have been Indian bone datings in California dating back 13,000 years and when they pumped the sand out of the shores off Treasure Island inside to artificially create the island, they found very old Indian bones and even a Mammoth bone which they believed might have been 250,000 years old. I'm not so sure any carbon testing of these bones was ever done. The acutal tribal name of the Indians that lived there in the early 1800s was the Tuchayunes. There are some theories that older indian bones would have been found lower in the bay since 11,000 years ago during the last ice age where the earth's water was all condensed, there was no bay and the ocean shoreline went all the way out to the Farellon Islands.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy@my-deja.com), December 11, 2001.

The Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala originally gave the name "Isla de los Alcatraces" (Alcatraz) to today's Yerba Buena Island during his explorations of the Bay in 1775. The island kept that name until 1827 when the designation was transferred to a previously un-named island by the British explorere and map maker Frederick Beechey. For reasons still unclear, Beechey also gave the name "Yerba Buena" to what had previously been called Alcatraces. The name Yerba Buena name fell out of use during the Gold Rush, probably due to the Yankees' tendency to give every Spanish landmark an American nickname. (Other examples include "Black Point" for Punta de San Jose, "Fort Point" for Punta del Cantil Blanco, and "Bird Island" for Alcatraz.) The name Yerba Buena was officially returned to the island by the U.S. Navy in 1931 during a unique ceremony that included throwing a sailor dressed in goat costume into the bay.

-- John Martini (martini@slip.net), December 11, 2001.

there's a goat island is by niagara falls

-- kjo (kathy.jo@verizon.net), March 27, 2002.

There is a Goat Island in the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound, Washington State.

-- Sue Rooney (suerooney@yahoo.com), January 29, 2003.

There is a Goat Island off of Kennebunkport, ME.

-- Lauren Bennett (kbunkquilter@yahoo.com), March 11, 2005.

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