May 25, 2019 Chincoteague, VA (USA): A stable at Beebe Ranch, home to Misty and Stormy, burned to the ground Tuesday night. The barn was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived just before 11 p.m.. All animals were safely accounted for including Angel’s Stormy Drizzle the great, great, great, granddaughter of Misty.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for the entire Beebe family. Maureen Beebe Hursch (little Maureen in the Misty of Chincoteague book) passed away. Then Billy’s sister Barbara’s precious husband Jack Gray busted through the gates of heaven one day after his 88th birthday. Certainly loss of the barn here is of no comparison to the loss of these two family members, but the little barn here that burned last night was loved by the entire family. Every single family member has memories in that little barn….many as little children growing up here and some of us seeing it only as adults. Last night, the barn here on the ranch caught fire and within 20 minutes, it was over. Billy and I were out of town so only have the pictures as a reference to how bad it was. Fire trucks from, I think, 6 local companies were on scene as quickly as they could get here. Really all they could do was get it contained so as not to damage neighboring property too badly (there was damage to two homes near the barn but thankfully both were superficial and no one was displaced from their home). All four of the horses and our goat Bill and the cat are safe. We are thankful for all the police officers and also so very thankful to all the fire companies that were involved, both local and off-island units…” wrote Bonnie Beebe on Facebook.
The ranch, opened in 1999, served as a museum focused on Chincoteague’s most famous ponies, Misty and her foal Stormy featured in the novels Misty of Chincoteague (1947) and Stormy, Misty’s Foal (1963) by Marguerite Henry. Both ponies lived at the ranch and upon their deaths, their taxidermied figures were on public display. In 2010, the ranch museum closed when Billy Beebe, a retired Virginia National Guard member, was deployed to Afghanistan. Misty and Stormy’s taxidermied forms as well as other Beebe family memorabilia were donated to the Museum of Chincoteague where they are currently displayed. In 2016, the ranch re-opened for limited public tours and remains home to Billy Beebe and his immediate family. Billy is the grandson of “Grandpa” and “Grandma” Beebe and first cousin of Paul and Maureen Beebe around whom much of Henry’s novels are centered.
Investigators have not yet determined a cause for the fire.
Photography Courtesy: Eastern Shore Fire Department and the Beebe Ranch Facebook page.