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 in 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
Thursday 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

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 thge 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.

March 2014 events at Sams House.
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April is "Garden Month" at Sams House at Pine Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Spring is here and April is "Garden Month" at Sams House at Pine Island. All events are free, unless noted, and open to the public.

Owl Prowl - Thursday, April 3, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Join staff naturalists as we walk the woods at night, looking and listening for our resident Barred owls. This special program is part of the Brevard Wildlife Expedition. Register at

Scrub-Jay Walk and Talk - Friday, April 4, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Join Patricia Tierney and Vince Lamb in an up-close encounter with the endangered Florida Scrub-Jay. This one-mile hike through Cruickshank Sanctuary in Rockledge is part of the Brevard Wildlife Expedition. Register at

The Secret Life of the Florida Scrub-Jay - Saturday, April 5, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: In "The Secret Life of the Florida Scrub-Jay," Pelican Island Audubon Society office manager and wildlife photographer Bob Montanaro brings to life the often elusive behavior of these birds and why the preservation of their habitat is one of the best ways to preserve this unique species.

Help Our Garden Grow! - Saturday, April 12, 9 a.m. to noon: We've been awarded a second Keep Brevard Beautiful Native Landscape Grant! Help us put in our new entrance garden at this fun community work day. Please wear close-toed shoes. Bring water, gloves, a hand shovel (if you have one) and picnic lunch.

Conservation Lands Work! - Sunday, April 13, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: In this informative slideshow, we'll learn how we all benefit from conservation lands - even if we are not active users of them. This special program is part of the Brevard Wildlife Expedition. Register at

Overland & Into The Water! Homeschool Program - Thursday, April 17, 10 a.m. to noon: Observe first hand how small changes in the elevation of our Florida topography makes a difference in the soil types and plants that are found here. Hike from the higher, sandy ridge where the Sams House and Cabin and located, down to the waterline at the Indian River Lagoon overlook. Learn about some of the fish and critters found in and around our waterways.

Butterflies! - Saturday, April 19, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Learn about native butterflies as we stroll through our beautiful gardens. Butterflies we are likely to see include the Peacock, Great Southern White, and Zebra Longwing.

Sams house April 2014 events
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Registration Open for Free Ecology Homeschool Series at Sams House

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Registration is now open for free Homeschool Ecology Study Trips at Sams House at Pine Island. Each program is designed for ages 5 to 12 and is limited to 20 students.
  • Seeds! Diversity and Dispersal Studies in the Woods - Friday, March 14, 10 a.m. to noon: Check out a wide variety of seed types and how they are dispersed in the wild. Study examples of different types of seeds. Hike in the woods and look for seeds and how plants are dispersed. Create an art project to take home.
  • Overland and Into the Water! - Thursday, April 17, 10 a.m. to noon: Observe first hand how small changes in the elevation of our Florida topography makes a difference in the soil types and plants that are found there. Hike from the higher, sandy ridge where the Sams House and Cabin is located, down to the waterline at the Indian River Lagoon overlook. Learn about some of the fish and critters found in and around our waterways.
  • Pollination! It's the Bees Knees! - Friday, May 9, 10 a.m. to noon: As pollinators search for food, forage and nesting sites, they keep our flowers producing fruits, seeds and nuts. Bees and other pollinators are very important to our environment, as well as to our crop production. As a bonus, they give us honey to sweeten our lives, too! Join us for a very special lesson on bees and other pollinators.

March is "Archeology Month" at Sams House at Pine Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- March events at Sams House at Pine Island celebrate National Archeology Month. All events are free, unless otherwise indicated. Donations are accepted.
  • From Ice Age Megafauna to Ancient Peoples of Pine Island - Saturday, March 8, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Did you know that mastodons and giant ground sloths once called Pine Island home? Enjoy a presentation on these Ice Age megafauna and then take a short walk to the Native American burial mound where we'll discuss the ancient peoples who lived here.
  • Paleo Plant Hike - Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Learn about some of the Florida native plants that have been around for ages and were used by very early Native Americans. We'll be outside, completing a 1/2-mile hike on the white loop trail. Bring a picnic lunch if you have time to stay afterward.
  • Prehistoric Peoples of Eastern Florida - Saturday, March 22, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Local archeologist and Indian River Anthropological Society President, Elaine Williams, will present on the Prehistoric Peoples of Eastern Florida. How did native people live and adapt to the land? Who were traders and who were farmers?
  • Alternative Household Products - Make and Take - Saturday, March 29, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Make and take natural and safer household products. Join us in the screen room to mix cleaning products such as countertop cleaner and laundry detergent. Bring a few small containers and take home some samples. Recipes will be printed and distributed. Cost of $2 for materials.
  • Sams House and Cabin Tour - Every Thursday and Saturday, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Tour the inside of the oldest-standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams cabin and the 1888 Sams house. Learn about the Sams Family.

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.

Click here for a gallery that will introduce you
to some of the things you will enjoy on your visit.
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

Friends of the 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.


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