Treasure Island is manmade, built on the shoals of neighboring Yerba Buena island. 

A WPA project of the 1930s, it was built to be the first airport for San Francisco, following its use as a site for the city's third World's Fair. Built of mud dredged from the Bay and dragged down from the Sacramento Delta, it was romantically named for the gold its soil might contain. 

With the involvement of America in the Second World War, it proved an excellent location for the movement of people and machines headed for the Pacific Theater. Aviation changed dramatically during the War, with overland flight gaining the technological edge over water crossing planes like the Clippers. 

In 1941, the Navy traded Treasure Island for land in South San Francisco named Mills Field; the city would later build San Francisco International Airport on the larger site.

The history of the island is reflected in the Museum collection, which covers:


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Page last changed April 16, 2003