Chincoteague is a town on Chincoteague Island, located in Accomack County, Virginia. The first land grant issued on Chincoteague Island dates back to 1650; in 1671, settlers came to the island, and by 1672, several large farms were developed to sustain residents. Though only 134 residents lived in Chincoteague during the American Civil War, they voted 132-2 not to secede from the Union. The town saw minor action in the war via the Battle of Cockle Creek, which was fought in the bay in 1861.
Unfortunately, in 1962, a nor’easter winter storm struck our tiny island. Known as the Ash Wednesday Storm, rain washed over the town, putting most roads and buildings underwater. Residents survived for days without electricity. Though we have done our best to rebuild, many of the Island’s original structures were destroyed.
We are very proud of our colonial history, and all surviving buildings are marked with significant dates and past inhabitants. Additionally, we have two locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places: The Assateague Lighthouse and Captain Timothy Hill House. With just under 3,000 residents, Chincoteague is a wonderful, historic place to live and visit.
We are known primarily for the existence of Chincoteague Ponies—feral horses living on both our island and nearly Assateague Island. These ponies have an almost mythic quality; local legends say that the Chincoteague Ponies are descendants of a Spanish galleon that sank on the way to Spain in 1750. You can read more about these beautiful, mysterious creates on our Wildlife page.