Updated 9/16/11

In Podcast #46 the Trekkers take you to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The fourth grade students at Pungoteague Elementary welcomed us to their school and acted as our tour guides telling us the best places to visit.  Dine with us at Tammy & Johnny's; visit the Ker Place, a 19th century plantation house; learn about space flight at Wallops NASA facility; see the wild ponies on Chincoteague and discover the correct way to feed them; explore the famous Assateague Lighthouse; see the Atlantic Ocean; and find out why the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel takes you over and under the water.  Come on, let's go trekkin'!

The ponies on Chincoteague are actually owned by the Fire Department.  The firemen have a permit to keep a herd of 150 wild horses.  Most of the year the ponies roam free eating the marsh grasses and drinking from freshwater ponds.  But once a year, on the last Thursday in July, some of the ponies are corralled and brought into town to be auctioned off.  This tradition started after a series of fires broke out in the town of Chincoteague and the fire department did not have the equipment to extinguish them quickly.  So in 1925 the town held a carnival to raise money to purchase new equipment.  Fifteen ponies were auctioned off and the money was given to the fire department.  The Chincoteague Volunteer Firemen's Carnival  and the pony auction continue every year. In 1947 Marguerite Henry published her book "Misty of Chincoteague" which tells how children raise money to buy one of the auctioned ponies named Misty.  

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SOL Correlation:

VS.2 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by

  1. b)locating and describing Virginia’s Coastal Plain (Tidewater), Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau;

  2. c)locating and identifying water features important to the early history of Virginia (Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, James River, York River, Potomac River, Rappahannock River, and Lake Drummond and the Dismal Swamp);


VS.10 The student will demonstrate knowledge of government, geography, and economics by b) describing the major products and industries of Virginia’s five geographic regions;


2.3 The student will identify and compare changes in community life over time in terms of buildings, jobs, transportation, and population.


4.7 The student will investigate and understand the relationships among the Earth, moon, and sun.  Key concepts include d) historical contributions in understanding the Earth-moon-sun system.

Coastal Plain

Salt water cowboys herd the ponies across the water into the town of Chincoteague.

Photo credits

The ponies are led through the streets of the town to the auction area.

Photo credits