Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

White Egret


    The first recorded history of Mackay Island began in 1761 when John Jones bought the island, which at that time was called Orphan's Island. John Mackie purchased it around 1768 and over the years the name was somehow changed to Mackay Island. Other previous owners include Thomas Dixon, author of "The Klansmen" and "Birth of a Nation" and Joseph P. Knapp, founder of "More Game Birds In America" which is now known as "Ducks Unlimited". He built a private resort and experimented with various wildlife management techniques, some of which are still used today. After Knapps' death, Mackay Island passed through several owners until the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recognized the value of the area as a refuge and acquired it in 1961.
Last Updated: 5/19/14