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North Brevard Business & Community Directory

Sams House - an historic house that is an   environmentally endangered lands program education center.

Sams House at Pine Island Conservation Area

Sams House is an historic home on Merritt Island, Brevard County, Florida.
It is the Management and Education Center for the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Pine Island Conservation Area.
6195 N. Tropical Trail
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Phone: 321-255-4466
Fax: 321-255-4499

Center Hours
Tuesday through Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 pm

Trail Hours
October through April: 7:00 AM - 6:00 pm
May through September: 7:00 AM - 8:00 pm

Latitude: 28.472785 — Longitude: -80.7183693

The Sams House EEL Education Center in 2012.
In 1875 John H. Sams built the cabin which is considered the oldest standing home in Brevard County, FL. He brought it to this location in 1878 from Eau Gallie, deconstructed, floated up the Indian River Lagoon, and reassembled here. His family, in this 600 sq. ft. cabin consisted of 4 adults and 6 children.

The cabin originally had 3 rooms. It later spent time as a school, church and a workshop.

They built the large house in 1888. It is a classic Florida vernacular style that accommodated a family with 8 children, some of whom were grown at the time this house was built. Sam's older brother and sister lived here too.

This 1,260 sq. ft. home has two large rooms, a family room and an office on the first floor. Upstairs are three bedrooms and the bath. The kitchen was in a separate building. Until the 1930's there was no indoor plumbing, so an outhouse was located nearby. In the 1950's part of the large porch was turned into a kitchen. The interior woodwork and exterior siding are original. Both buildings are constructed of pine.

Pine Island Knotes — June, 2019
Newsletters of the Pine Island Preservation Society

July Events at Sams House at Pine Island

Pioneer Story Time
Tuesday, July 5th, 10:30 AM – 11 AM
This month we will be reading “Tammy Turtle A Tale of Saving Sea Turtles” by Suzanne Tate and Illustrated by James Melvin.

Bring Your Own Kayak
Thursday, July 7th, 9:30 AM - 12 PM
Meet up at the Thousand Islands Conservation Area for our monthly water tour. Registration is required. Please call to sign up. 599 Ramp Road, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

Staking the Giant Beast - Pleistocene Epoch
Sunday, July 10th, 1 PM – 2 PM
Join Archaeologist, Elaine Williams, as we venture 10,000 into the past! Get to know some of Florida’s ancient inhabitants through fossils and artifacts to discover how people of the Ice Age struggled to survive. Registration is required. Please call to sign up.

Nature Sleuths: Tracts, Scat, and Signs
Thursday, July 14th, 10 AM – 11 AM
Join the Sams House education staff while we explore gross stuff. We will take a deep dive into the tracks, scats, and signs that surround the grounds. Get your hands dirty in a not-so-gross way. Registration is required. Please call to sign up.

Horseshoe Crabs
Saturday, July 23rd, 10 AM - 11:30 AM
Join the naturalist for a short presentation about horseshoe crabs, then take a hike down to the lagoon to see if we can find a few crab molts, or maybe even a live crab. Afterward, make a horseshoe crab craft to take home. Registration is required. Please call to sign up.

Recycled Paper
Saturday, July 30th, 11 AM - 1 PM
Stop by anytime between 11 AM and 1 PM and Learn how to make your own recycled paper from scraps.

Brevard County
Environmentally Endangered Lands Facebook Page

Historic & Environmental Value

The size and shape of Florida has changed dramatically through the Millennia. At times it was only a few islands, at others, twice today's size. Here at the Sams House site we have uncovered evidence of life about 20,000 years ago, 4,000 years ago, and recent history. Take yourselves down our paths and through our houses. Explore the past in our own back yard.

A sacred Indian Buriel Mound
A Sacred Place.

20,000 years ago - re-creation.
20,000 years ago.

John H. Sams Homestead

The Sams family came to Brevard County from South Carolina in 1875 to take advantage of the 1860 Homestead Act. The family consisted of John Hanahan Sams, his wife Sarah, their five children, John's brother William Sams, and his sister Catherine DeVeaux Sams. The Sams Homestead consists of two buildings. The first, a single story home, was originally constructed in Eau Gallie on property homesteaded by John H. Sams in 1875. The family decided to move nearer to other relatives on North Merritt Island and the house was rafted up the Indian River in 1878 to the present site. It is the oldest dated structure on Merritt Island and a prime example of Florida vernacular construction. In 1884 Sams was granted a homestead deed for 156 acres and by 1888, built the second two-story home adjoining the older house on the property. Sams served as Superintendent of Schools for the county from 1880-1920, while growing citrus and pineapples. John H. Sams died in 1923 and the homes were occupied by his descendants until 1995. Archaeological excavations at the site discovered a prehistoric Native American occupation site that dates from approximately 5,000 BC to 1250 Ad, and also a late Pleistocene fossil site.

A Florida Heritage Site
Sponsored by the Brevard County Historical Commission,The Brevard County Tourist Development Council, and The Florida Department of State — F-575 — 2006

Brevard County EEL Sams House website

The Historic Marker for Sams House
Location of Sanctuaries in North Brevard Florida
Click for active Google Map.

Pine Island Conservation Area
Archaeological Survey

Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary in Titusville

North Brevard Nature Sanctuaries
Scottsmoor, Mims, Titusville, Port St. John, Sharpes,
Canaveral Groves & North Merritt Island, Florida

Maps to many outdoor activities in North Brevard.

The North Brevard Business & Community Directory's
"Places to Go - Things to Do" Directory

Sams House Trails video.

The Sams House at Pine Island Conservation Area was created and is managed under Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program referendum. The referendum was established by voters in 1990 to protect and preserve the rich biological diversity of Brevard County for future generations. The Sams House at Pine Island Conservation Area is the Central Region location with the distinguished oldest standing structure in Brevard County and operates in partnership with the Pine Island Preservation Society. Over 8 miles of trails are available along with historical and environmentally educational exhibits and hands on learning opportunities. Admission is free, open Tuesday through Sunday 9 to 5.