Menu with CSS3

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.


Guided Hike at Sams House
Sunday, May 5, 10:00 AM -11:00 AM
Stop by the Sams House for an hour-long guided hike through the Sams House trails. Please bring a hat, water, and walking shoes.

Marvelous Migration
Saturday, May 11, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Join us anytime between 1 PM and 3 PM for some self-guided activities centered on bird knowledge and migration. All ages are welcome.

Frontier School: Pollinators
Friday, May 17, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Get the buzz about the many pollinators of Florida and explore their important jobs - helping seeds to form and fruit to grow. Registration Required. Opens May 1st. Recommended for ages 6-9.

Guided Hike at Cruickshank Sanctuary
Sunday, May 19, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Our Master Naturalist, Mark Prynoski will be guiding a hike through the Cruickshank Sanctuary. It is home to many native plants and animals including the Florida Scrub-Jay. Please wear closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and bring water. Registration is required! Please call 321-449-4720 to sign up. Meet at 329 Barnes Boulevard, Rockledge, FL 32955

Pioneer Games
Saturday, May 25, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Learn how to play some pioneer games. Stop by Sams House at any time between 1 PM and 3 PM. There will be numerous games to try, from hopscotch and checkers to buzz saws and Game of Graces.

Create Your Own Bird Feeder
Sunday, May 26, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Bird feeders are a great way to attract beauty into your yard. Come by the Sams House to create your very own eco-friendly bird feeder to feed all of your bird friends.

Bring Your Own Kayak
Thursday, May 30, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Meet up at the Thousand Islands Conservation Area for our monthly water tour. Registration is required. Please call 321-449-4720 to sign up. Meet at 599 Ramp Road, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

Saturday Bird Walks at Sams House
Saturdays 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Join the Naturalist Staff (weather permitting) as we look and listen for birds around the park. From beginner to expert, all levels of birders are welcome. We encourage you to bring your own binoculars, if possible. We have a limited supply to borrow if necessary. Please meet out front between the cabin and the white house prior to the 9 AM walk.

Scavenger Hunt
Every Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Stop by the 1888 house to pick up your nature hunt. Enjoy the afternoon exploring the grounds.

House and Cabin Tour
Every Thursday and Saturday at 3:00 PM
Tour the inside of Brevard County’s oldest standing home (1875) and the adjacent 1888. Florida Vernacular-style home to learn about the Sams Family

Click for the March, 2024 Pine Island Knotes.
Pine Island Knotes — March, 2024
Newsletters of the Pine Island Preservation Society Archives

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.