An Eastern Shore landmark made famous by the iconic Misty of Chincoteague story has burned to the ground.
The barn on Ridge Road in Chincoteague caught fire around 10:40 last Tuesday night. According to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, the barn was “completely engulfed in flames shooting about 30 feet in the air.”
The barn was on the property of the Beebe Ranch, and was the home of the real-life Chincoteague pony Misty, born in 1946, that inspired the popular Marguerite Henry novel series.
In a Facebook post, the fire company says all four horses, one goat, and one cat there at the time of the fire were accounted for, but the barn was a total loss. The Atlantic Volunteer Fire Company, Greenbackville Fire Company, New Church Fire Company, Wallops NASA Fire Company, and Chincoteague Police Department all helped on the scene.
The Chincoteague Volunteers said in their post, “Our hearts go out to the two neighbors who have some damage to their homes and to the Beebe Family. To some, it was just an old barn, to us, it is where our history lived and breathed.”
The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company is closely connected to the wild ponies; the annual Wild Pony Roundup is a fundraiser for the fire company’s operations, and its members serve as the Saltwater Cowboys who swim the ponies across the Assateague Channel. The fire company credits Misty of Chincoteague with making the pony roundup and swim internationally famous.
-Meg Walburn Viviano