administered from Washington, DC, by the US Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system
unincorporated territory of the US
4.5 sq km
Millersville settlement on western side of island occasionally used as a weather station from 1935 until World War II, when it was abandoned; reoccupied in 1957 during the International Geophysical Year by scientists who left in 1958. Visited annually by US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Or maybe not
In the early 2000s, a writer of "alternate histories" put up a web site which presented itself as the official site of the government of the "Republic of Baker Howland and Jarvis", portraying a bustling tourism destination, including a fake CIA World Factbook article providing statistics for the island nation. The web site is no longer online, but puzzled more than a few armchair travelers.
First discovered by the British in 1821, the uninhabited island was annexed by the US in 1858, but abandoned in 1879 after tons of guano had been removed. The UK annexed the island in 1889, but never carried out plans for further exploitation. The US occupied and reclaimed the island in 1935. Abandoned after World War II, the island is currently a National Wildlife Refuge administered by the US Department of the Interior; a day beacon is situated near the middle of the west coast.
Sandy, coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef. Sparse bunch grass, prostrate vines, and low-growing shrubs; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife.