Wading Into the Past

A shipwreck exposed in the surf after a storm.

A shipwreck exposed in the surf after a storm.

National Park Service

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
History Lesson
Also Promotes:
Go Digital
Year Accomplished:

Most visitors who make their way to Assateague Island National Seashore are coming to enjoy the beach, and observe the famous wild horses that roam the island. This thin strip of land off the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland and Virginia also claims a rich history. People have long relied on Assateague Island for survival, livelihood, community, and enjoyment. Those who have spent time on and around the island have changed it and been changed by it.  From native peoples to the visitors of today, individuals and families have relied on the waters and lands for sustenance and recreation. Some called Assateague their home, and some carried the island home with them. There is an irresistible relationship between the island and the people who have been captured by its mystery. A few of these stories may be discovered in the "Voices of Assateague" oral history exhibit at the Assateague Island Visitor Center. An artist, a park ranger, an environmental activist, a Coast Guardian, a duck hunter, and a man who lived in Assateague Village each experienced the island in their own unique way. Their stories hint at the deep connections formed by individuals with this constantly changing landscape. While these stories are shared digitally at the visitor center, others make their way onto our Facebook page in the form of Wayback Wednesdays where images take us back in time to the people and places that linger in the memories of those who have days, decades, and generations of sand filled shoes.