Marguerite Henry in Rancho Santa Fe, California

Marguerite Henry in Rancho Santa Fe, California

Marguerite Henry, the renowned author of the beloved children's book "Misty of Chincoteague," was a prolific writer who captured the hearts of readers with her captivating stories about horses. But did you know that she spent a significant portion of her later years in Rancho Santa Fe, California? This photo is from the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society. On the wall are photos of famous past residents ranging from Patti Page to Bing Crosby to Marguerite Henry. 

Early Life and Career

Born in 1902 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Marguerite Henry developed a love for horses at a young age. She began writing stories about these majestic creatures, drawing inspiration from her own experiences and observations. In 1947, she published her most famous work, Misty of Chincoteague, which was fiction based on the true story of the wild ponies from Virginia's Assateague Island.

During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Marguerite Henry wrote books on horses from her small horse farm Mole Meadow. The two-acre property with a "weathered ranch house" had a three-stall barn where Misty of Chincoteague (the real pony), Friday and Jiggs (the Brighty character) lived. 

You might enjoy this article about the real Misty of Chincoteague.

Move to Rancho Santa Fe

After achieving great success as a children's author, Marguerite Henry and her husband, Sidney Henry moved to Rancho Santa Fe, California. This picturesque community near the Pacific Ocean provided the perfect setting for Henry to continue writing from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s. I was told the couple from the Midwest moved to Rancho Santa Fe for Sidney's health. What a perfect location for the golf-obsessed Sideny and horse-loving Marguerite. Rancho Santa Fe is an equestrian community near Del Mar Racetrack and golf courses abound. 

During her time in Rancho Santa Fe, Marguerite Henry continued to write numerous books on horses. She did book signings at a toy store in Rancho Santa Fe and made frequent appearances at local bookstores and libraries. At my recent author talk in Rancho Santa Fe, a Marguerite Henry fan raised her hand and said that she went to every book signing where Marguerite appeared and Marguerite always autographed her titles with a highly personalized, special inscription.

Although Marguerite Henry passed away in 1997, her legacy lives on through her timeless stories that continue to inspire readers of all ages. Her dedication to capturing the beauty and spirit of horses has left an indelible mark on the literary world, making her a true icon in the realm of children's literature.

If you love reading books on horses, adored Marguerite Henry stories or loved Misty of Chincoteague, I hope you will read my Marguerite Henry biography Marguerite, Misty and Me

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