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The Sams House At Pine Island

The Sams House At Pine Island
6195 North Tropical Trail
Merritt Island, FL 32953
Phone: (321)449-4720


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The Sams Cabin

Built by John H. Sams in 1875, this is believed to be the oldest standing home in Brevard County. Originally built in Eau Gallie, the house was taken apart, floated up the Indian River Lagoon, and reassembled on this site in 1878. In 1880, ten family members (4 adults and 6 children) lived in this 600 square foot cabin!

The building had internal partitions, but has been restored as one room. The flooring, windows, ceiling, and external siding are original and constructed entirely from pine.

The cabin was also used as a school and for church services prior to the construction of the area’s first schoolhouse in 1883 and St. Luke’s Church in 1889.

The Sams House

John H. Sams built this 1888 home in the classic Florida vernacular style to accommodate his growing family. He had a wife and 8 children, some of whom were grown and living on their own at the time this house was built. His older brother and sister also lived with the family.

Mr. Sams was a farmer, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Schools in Brevard County. He originally moved to Florida from South Carolina with his family in 1875.

At 1,260 square feet, the home features two large rooms downstairs, a family room and an office. The upstairs holds three bedrooms and a bathroom. A separate kitchen was located behind the cabin. It was customary to keep the kitchen separate from the house to reduce the risk of fire and because kitchens were very hot. Prior to the 1930s, there was no indoor plumbing and an outhouse was located nearby. Part of the large porch was enclosed in the 1950s to construct a new kitchen and bathroom (now removed). After the main house was built, the smaller cabin was used as separate bedrooms and later as a utility room. Descendents of the Sams family lived here until 1996.

The exterior siding and interior woodwork are original. As with the cabin, the building is entirely constructed of pine. Restoration of the main house and cabin was made possible partially through a grant from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources.

Sams House at Pine Island is currently open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Exhibits will be installed within the next few months, at which time the Center will open Thursdays through Sundays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Travel back in time here and along the paved trail where interactive exhibits highlight Pine Island’s many past inhabitants, including Ice Age animals, Native Americans, and early pioneers.

The Sams House at Pine Island is located within the 900-acre Pine Island Conservation Area (PICA). At PICA, you can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking through five different habitats and over five miles of trails. Wading birds, bald eagles, alligators, manatees, and bobcats are just a few of the animals that you may see. The EEL Program and the St. Johns Water Management District jointly own this site.


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