If the City of Long Beach was an ocean, Signal Hill would be a tiny island. Even though the size isn't substantial, there is no doubting Signal Hill's historical importance. Three years before the city was even incorporated it became a destination around 1921 when oil was discovered there. When Shell Oil Company's first derrick erupted over 110 feet in the air they new they were sitting on a black gold mine. Shortly after, the company built over 100 oil derricks giving the hill a prickly appearance. Locals dubbed the thorny mound Porcupine Hill.