It has been said that the small island situated roughly midway between Oakland and San Francisco has had as many names as a modern divorcée, and also in like fashion, has reclaimed a former name. The island was reportedly first known as Sea Bird Island. Later, the island would be named for two other island dwellers often seen on its steep slopes. The early Spaniards called the island Yerba Buena, translated good herb, in reference to the curative powers of a mint found growing on the island. When the 49ers startled settling in the area, goats were pastured on the island, and soon the island was known as Goat Island. The island would be called Goat Island until around 1931, when the old Spanish name was officially restored. A resident sailor was dressed up as a goat and ceremoniously pushed into the bay, signaling the end of the name Goat Island.
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