Assateague Island is famous for its herds of feral ponies, thanks to Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague stories. According to popular legend, the first ponies survived a shipwreck and were marooned on the island.1
Today, the 37-mile barrier island offshore of Maryland and Virginia is protected and maintained for public use by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Maryland State Parks.2
- The Pocomoke, Annamessex, Manokin, Nassawattex, Acquintica, Assateague, Chincoteague, and Kicotanks native tribes inhabit the area. Villages are established on the mainland; barrier islands, including Assateague and Chincoteague, are used for hunting and gathering.3
- The first European colonists settle on Assateague.4
- Late 1600s
- Colonists on the mainland pasture horses on the barrier islands to avoid fencing laws and livestock taxes.
- August 1933
- A storm-created inlet separates Assateague Island from Fenwick Island.
- Plans begin to build a resort called "Ocean Beach."
- March 1962
- A storm devastates the island, making it clear it cannot support permanent habitation.
- September 21, 1965
- Assateague Island National Seashore is authorized.5
- February 28, 1973
- Virginia adds the Assateague Beach Coast Guard Station to the Virginia Landmarks Register.6
- July 10, 1992
- The park boundary changes.7
- November 2, 2015
- Assateague Beach Coast Guard Station is added to the National Register of Historic Places.8