and the Wild Chincoteague Ponies

Chincoteague Island is famous for many reasons, but the most famous of all is the book Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. This book is the touching story about a wild pony and two children who want to purchase this pony at the yearly wild pony auction. On the last week of July each year, since 1927, the Chincoteague Volunteer Firemen (known as the Saltwater Cowboys) herd and swim the Chincoteague Ponies across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague. The “Cowboys” then parade the ponies through the streets of Chincoteague and down to the auction grounds on Main Street. Beautifully written and enjoyed by all age groups, Misty of Chincoteague is the best selling horse book (after Black Beauty) in America. In 1961 Misty of Chincoteague was made into a movie on the island staring David Ladd.

Marguerite Henry

and Her Visit to Miss Molly’s

Marguerite Henry came to Chincoteague the summer of 1946, with little information about the island and an event called Pony Penning. She stayed at Miss Molly’s Inn as her home away from home while gathering information. She spent afternoons on the porch with Miss Molly and Captain Jack, discussing ideas for the book. Miss Molly recommended she get in touch with the Beebe family, who raised Chincoteague Ponies at the Beebe Ranch. There at the ranch, Marguerite met Misty. It was love at first sight. With the stories, friendships, love of the island and horses she found here on Chincoteague, the book nearly wrote itself.

Marguerite spent the summer building lifelong friendships and enjoying the accommodations at Miss Molly’s in a guestroom later renamed the Marguerite Henry Room. The book Misty of Chincoteague was published in 1947 and was a huge success for Marguerite Henry, illustrator Wesley Dennis, and the island of Chincoteague. The movie followed in 1961. Children and parents fell in love with Misty, the Beebe family, and Chincoteague Island. The island and Miss Molly’s Inn itself has become a mecca for Misty-lovers on an annual pilgrimage or adults fulfilling dreams from their childhood.

For more about this beloved children’s story, Marguerite Henry’s stay at Miss Molly’s Inn, and a list of Misty of Chincoteague sites to visit, visit our blog post Misty of Chincoteague and Miss Molly’s Inn, it’s an excellent reference for fans of the book and visitors to the island.

The Wild

Chincoteague Ponies

Special thanks to DSC Photography, for use of these incredible photos of Chincoteague’s pony bands. Steve and Darcy Cole of DSC Photography spend more than 300 days a year studying the wild ponies and have hiked over 10,000 miles each year on Assateague observing, documenting, and photographing the herds. They’re providing the images for this year’s Online Pony Auction. We’re proud to exhibit the stunning DSC Photography prints in our parlor and second floor. We encourage guests to enjoy the images during their stay, which are available for purchase to support their work. Read more information in our post Chincoteague Pony Swim 2021 and Online Auction.

What our guests are saying…

Miss Molly’s tops them all! Fantastic accommodations! We had reservations for 2 nights, but were so taken by the place, we added a third night! The house is full of charm, and if you liked Misty of Chincoteague, you MUST stay here! And if you are just here to enjoy the Island, they have everything you need, including bikes, beach chairs, beach towels, sunscreen, bug spray, cool drinks or coffee, 24/7 snacks. The house hosts several common areas, inside and out, where you can curl up and read, play a game ( which they also have on site), or nap. I don’t know where to begin with the food!!! It is out of this world delicious and the presentations are beautiful! We not only did the breakfasts, but also their high tea. Words cannot adequately describe how wonderful it was! I wish I could eat there every day! In the end, Miss Molly’s became so much more to us than just a place to stay, it became part of our vacation experience itself! We can’t recommend it enough! Five stars!!!!

The Annual Pony Swim

There’s Lots to See and Do!

Although the annual Pony Swim and Auction normally takes place in July, and in 2020 & 2021 the swims were cancelled, the Wild Chincoteague Ponies are still visible year round in their natural habitat in the marshes and maritime forests of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. You can also visit the Beebe Ranch, see the stalls of Misty and her foals, as well as meet her living descendants. The local chamber even created a Misty Trail Map to help you find all the interesting stops to make your Misty trip one you will never forget.