There is no permanent population of Jarvis Island. The total area of Jarvis Island is 4.75 square kilometers. Highest elevation is 23 feet’s seven meters from sea. The total coastal line of island is 8.52 kilometers. Island was first sighted by Capt. Brown in 1821 during a journey on British ship Eliza Francis. He was a British citizen. In 1856 United States claimed it under the Guano Act. The guano deposit worked for 22 years from 1857 to 1859. British annexed Jarvis Island in 1989 but never exploited its reserves. Later in 1935 United States reclaimed the island.
As the World War II started, an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine surfaced off the west coast of the Island. Believing that it was a U.S. Navy submarine which had come to fetch them, the four young colonists rushed down the steep western beach in front of Millersville towards the shore. The submarine answered their waves with fire from its deck gun, but no one was hurt in the attack. On February 7, 1942, the USCGC Taney evacuated the colonists, then shelled and burned the dwellings. The roughly cleared landing area on the island's northeast end was later shelled by the Japanese, leaving crater holes.
National Wild Life Refuge Park on Jarvis Island:
National wild life Refuge Park established on Jarvis Island in 1974. In 2009 the park is extended to 12 NM of sea area. The island was administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex. In January 2009, that entity was upgraded to the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument by President George W. Bush.
The island is closed for common public and even United States Residents cannot visit the island before taking prior permission. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Coast Guard approval is required to visit the island.
How to Reach Jarvis Island:
There is a runway of 1,665 m, which is abandoned during world war 2. The runway is now covered with vegetation and is unusable. There is a day beacon near the middle of the west coast. No big port or terminal is available only offshore anchorage is available. There is one small boat landing area in the middle of the west coast and another near the southwest corner of the island. Jarvis Island defense is responsibility of US.