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Assateague Island Village “When Assateague Was Home”

Posted: May 4th, 2017

The Museum of Chincoteague has a wonderful exhibit that will be on display this Spring. The exhibit is part of Assateague Heritage Days and is called “When Assateague was Home”.

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Illustrated map of Assateague village, created by former resident Roy Jones.

Assateague Island, Virginia is now a wildlife refuge and is home to the famous Wild Ponies.  Visitors flock there every summer to sunbathe, view the wildlife, and frolic in it’s waves. However, a long time ago, Assateague was home to a small community of people. With no bridge, no running water and no electricity. Life on Assateague was a hard one.

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The exhibit features memoirs, artifacts and pictures of Assateague Village from the 19th and 20th Centuries.

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Sheep farming was a big industry on Assateague. Before Pony Penning, there was Sheep Penning.

The village had homes of course, but also a lighthouse, coast guard station, a church, school house and a small store.

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Roy Jones is the last living person who resided on Assateague. Mr. Jones was interviewed recently as part of the Heritage Days collaboration between the Museum of Chincoteague, Island Library, Chincoteague Natural History Association, Chincoteague Island Arts Organization and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The interview will eventually be posted on the Museum of Chincoteague Website. In the meantime, you can view an older video interview of Roy Jones here.  Maria Grenchik, Executive Director of the museum, said that “we’ve always opened the season with the ‘Heritage Days’ theme, but this is the first year we’ve spear-headed a joint effort with other organizations”.

I hope you get a chance to see this exhibit at the Museum of Chincoteague while it’s still in place this Spring. They are open 11am-5pm, Friday thru Sunday this time of year. Admission is only $4, and they offer free admission to children 12 and under, members and active duty military and their immediate family.

Happy Trails!

By Sara Daisey

~Sara and her husband Ted are the owners of Chincoteague.com. They are full-time residents of Chincoteague. They hope that their love of Chincoteague inspires everyone who visits their website to also visit their special island. Remember to visit www.chincoteague.com for everything you need to plan your next visit to Chincoteague Island.

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