Jarvis Island was discovered on 21 August 1821 by the British ship Eliza Francis, owned by Edward, Thomas and William Jarvis, which had a captain named Captain Brown. In 1857, the United States seized the island under the Guano Islands Act and was of course interested in taking advantage of the Guano on the island. Jarvis Island is still a U.S. territory in the South Pacific and is located about 1,600 km southwest of Honolulu about halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. This is a very small island with an area of about 4.1 km² that does not have a permanent population. The island is one of the Line Islands, but unlike other atolls in the area, the lagoon at Jarvisön is completely dry.
Geography and climate
Jarvisön is a coral island covered with sand and bushes and other low vegetation. The highest point of the island is about 7 meters and there are no sources of fresh water, which makes it quite difficult to live permanently on the site. The United States manages the area as a nature reserve and those who come here do so to study the environment and climate. It can be quite difficult to get to the island as there is no port. Instead, you can use some excellent points on the island’s coast where you can anchor and then get in with smaller boats. The west coast has an area where you can add smaller boats and there is also an old lighthouse.
The central part of the island is a lagoon that has dried up and here there is plenty of guano that was excavated in the 19th century. The climate is tropical desert climate and this means that it is very hot during the day, that it is always windy and that the sun shines very brightly. During nights, however, it can be really chilly. Ships moving in the area sometimes have difficulty seeing the island which is surrounded by a narrow reef. Due to the fact that there are no natural sources of salt water and that it almost never rains, the landscape is flat and empty with low vegetation. There is no indication that the island ever had a human population, but it is a paradise for nesting birds.
The Millersville era
In modern times, some colonization of the island took place and it has come to be known as the Millerville era. This period was between 1935-1942 and it was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who gave the US Department of the Interior the task of managing the island. They started with tents right next to the wooden lighthouse that was in place and the settlement was called Millersville after a bureaucrat in the US Department of Air Commerce. With wreckage from the ship Amarath, they built huts and later they use stone and wood for a little more solid construction. In this way, you could create a weather station on the island. During this time, a runway was also built on the northeast side of the island, but no aircraft ever came to use it.