Chincoteague museum buys Misty’s ranch

Once home to the famous pony and her descendants, the Beebe Ranch is now earmarked for preservation and interpretation.

In what’s been described as a “dream come true,” Virginia’s Museum of Chincoteague Island has succeeded in purchasing the Beebe Ranch, the hometown setting of “Misty of Chincoteague” and other classic Marguerite Henry children’s books.

The race to save this treasured piece of island history from development captivated many “Misty” fans, who dug deep into their pockets over the past few months to send in donations galore. Also key to the purchase were several creative fundraisers–some featuring model horses and one a Chincoteague pony foal–not to mention a matching grant challenge from a local philanthropist.

‘Chincoteague history’

“We just bought the farm!!!!” the museum’s June 30 Facebook post reads. “This morning, many people came together to make a little Chincoteague history!

“Billy Beebe and his sister Barbara Gray [the ranch’s previous owners] said that this truly is a dream come true for them. Selling the Beebe Ranch to the Museum of Chincoteague, protecting it for the future was something that their mother had been talking about many years ago and now it has happened!” the post continues.

Barbara Gray and Billy Beebe/Image from a museum social media post

“Today, we would like to thank Bob Faith of Dockside Properties for helping the museum navigate through the buying process and Attorney John Custis for making sure all the T’s were crossed and I’s dotted. Both generously donated their time and services!

“Bob and John, we are grateful for your support and generosity. Because of that, [we] can proudly say the Museum of Chincoteague Island owns the Beebe Ranch and it is 100% paid in full. This would not [have] happened without your help and the thousands of people who have made a donation! We thank you all!”

Fundraising to continue

The next step is the planning and preservation of this special property.

“There are a few needs in the immediate future, so we will continue to fundraise through the summer,” museum officials report in another Facebook post. “Then, next spring, we can start talking about rebuilding the stable/ barn.”

For more information about donations, etc., email [email protected] or call (757) 336-6117.

About the museum

The mission of the Museum of Chincoteague Island is to collect and preserve the material culture that reflects the historical progression of the life on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. The museum displays and interprets those objects to enhance the understanding of various experiences and events from the town’s past by preserving objects of significance, along with proper documenting of their history and acquisition, for the use of future generations in understanding the history of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.

Landing page image from Museum of Chincoteague Island website




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