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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

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.

Pine Island Knotes
Newsletters of the Pine Island Preservation Society

March 2017 Archaeology Month
at the Sams House at PICA

March programs at the Sams House will be highlighted with TWO presentations/lectures by the Florida Public Archaeology Network - FPAN. The programs will be designed to appeal to several levels. The first program will focus on new technology and the use of 3D printing and modeling in field situations. Our second FPAN program will focus on our younger crowd and participants will learn about the use of pottery in prehistoric times. Understanding of prehistoric peoples can come from many sources, pottery and the decoration of pottery will be our focus for this program.

Whatever happened to the Ice Age Animals? Our Megafauna Fun Hike is designed to utilize our simulated Dig Pits (fiberglass Fossils) and will provide a basic overview of how we learn about ancient wildlife and discover how this study relates to present day animals. A small fossil sample will be your prize for learning with us at the 20,000 year interpretive exhibit. All materials supplies, a note- there is no digging or metal detecting permitted on public properties- this will be a well guided simulated lesson.

We will follow up our programs with a wonder hike around the trails to learn more about our environmental history and ponder the future of wildlife for Florida.

The Sams House at Pine Island Conservation Area was created and 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.

March 2017
March activities at Sams House
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FREE School Study Trips
Free Study Trips at Sams House - click to print
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Homeschool Study Trips
Homeschool programs at Sams House
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Sams House 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

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.