One reason I wanted to visit Chincoteague was to see the ponies on the beach. On Assateague Island there are 150 ponies that run wild in the marshes and along the beach. They are managed by the Volunteer Fire Company with vaccines and annual auctions to thin the herd. The legend is that the ponies of Chincoteague are descedents of horses that washed ashore from a wrecked Spanish galleon off the coast of Assateague Island 300-400 years ago. The book and movie, Misty of Chincoteague, made the Island famous and a tourist destination. The book was written in 1947 by Marguerite Henry based on a real family of Chincoteague.