ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sam's House at Pine Island: Environmentally Endangered Lands

Updated on September 29, 2018
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

International Travel Writer and Photographer who considers herself a global citizen, sharing the world with her readers through her travels.

Welcome to Sams House, Pine Island, Florida

Great view of the House and Cabin
Great view of the House and Cabin | Source
Reading information on Sams Cabin before entering
Reading information on Sams Cabin before entering | Source
Source

Historic preservation a must!

Sams House is a perfect example of just how important historic preservation is to us.

The Sam’s House at Pine Island has a very unique history and for the property owners to have discovered an Indian burial ground on the property was an added plus. I cannot imagine how difficult it could have been at that time to float the entire cabin up the river when the Sams moved up to Merritt Island, Florida. Now the cabin is restored and maintained very well I thought. Although there were structural renovations, the coordinator pointed out original features of the cabin including the floors and windows. There were several displays highlighting indigenous plants and family artifacts. We also viewed several fossils and you can see the original teeth still intact.

From Ice Age animals to Native Americans to early pioneers, Pine Island Conservation Area has a rich history. Mastodon tusks, pottery sherds, and 19th century farm tools found on site help piece together the story of this special place.

Travel back in time along the paved trail where interactive exhibits highlight Pine Island's many past inhabitants.

You can enjoy

  • hiking
  • biking
  • horseback riding
  • fishing
  • canoeing
  • kayaking
  • five different habitats
  • over six miles of trails

Wading birds, bald eagles, alligators, manatees, and bobcats are just a few of the animals that you may see.

The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the St. Johns River Water Management District jointly own this over 900-acre site.

Learning a form of archery
Learning a form of archery | Source

Sam's House: Brevard's Oldest Home

Brevard's Oldest Home
Brevard's Oldest Home | Source
Explanation of the hand-building technique used.
Explanation of the hand-building technique used. | Source

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.

Fireplace inside the House
Fireplace inside the House | Source

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. Descendants 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.

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.

Historical exhibits throughout the Cabin

Original wooden ceiling
Original wooden ceiling | Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Enjoying the exhibits and history inside the Cabin
Enjoying the exhibits and history inside the Cabin | Source

What is an EEL Sanctuary?

The term EEL means Environmentally Endangered Land, of which Sam's House and its environment fall into that category. An EEL sanctuary such as where Sams House is located is:

  • A place of wonder, contemplation and discovery
  • A resource for environmental education
  • A preserve to protect biodiversity and natural resources
  • An opportunity to experience Florida as the early inhabitants did
  • A place to learn about Brevard County's unique natural communities
  • A source of community identity for Space Coast residents and visitors

Where is it located?

Sams House at Pine Island

6195 N. Tropical Trail

Merritt Island, FL 32953

Open Thursday through Sunday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Our visit to Sam's House, Pine Island, in pictures

Walking back from the Burial Mound
Walking back from the Burial Mound | Source
Walking part of the trail and outdoor exhibits
Walking part of the trail and outdoor exhibits | Source
Outdoor exhibit of giant sloth and giant armadillo
Outdoor exhibit of giant sloth and giant armadillo | Source
Where to go, where to go?
Where to go, where to go? | Source

More exhibits....

Source
Outdoor exhibit showing how food was preserved
Outdoor exhibit showing how food was preserved | Source
Nicholas "talking to Martha" and getting information on how the Sams family lived.
Nicholas "talking to Martha" and getting information on how the Sams family lived. | Source
Beginning the nature trail
Beginning the nature trail | Source
We went in the middle of summer after rain, so the mosquitoes were very busy.  At the end we were tired.  We traveled with this towel to cool us down and slap away the mosquitoes.
We went in the middle of summer after rain, so the mosquitoes were very busy. At the end we were tired. We traveled with this towel to cool us down and slap away the mosquitoes. | Source
Checking out the different exhibits.  Each drawer contained an interesting fossil.
Checking out the different exhibits. Each drawer contained an interesting fossil. | Source
Walking the trail
Walking the trail | Source
Standing outside, reading the information about Sams Cabin before we entered.
Standing outside, reading the information about Sams Cabin before we entered. | Source
Information was provided on these large signs as we walked through the outdoor exhibit
Information was provided on these large signs as we walked through the outdoor exhibit | Source
Heading to the Burial mound
Heading to the Burial mound | Source

Events and Education

Calendar of events for November 2015
Calendar of events for November 2015

Events and Education

November events at the Sams House are recognizing Native American Heritage Month.

As the weather gets nicer, and cooler, it is a great time to spend more of it outside and on the trails. This time of the year there are less mosquitoes. When I visited with my kids during the summer, it was right after a week of rains, and the mosquitoes were out in full force. Going through the trail, we were like a buffet for the mosquitoes, so we plan to do the trail again in late December when it much cooler and the mosquitoes will be virtually non-existent.

Be sure to take full advantage of the most beautiful days of fall by coming out and hiking the Sams House at Pine Island Conservation Area trails!


Homeschooling Activities

Corn Husk Dolls, fashioned out of the trash from corn, made the pioneer and native way!
Corn Husk Dolls, fashioned out of the trash from corn, made the pioneer and native way!

Learn how to make your very own corn husk dolls.

Homeschooling Activities

Study Trips run from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, but can easily be adapted to another time frame.


Grades preK-2 "Little Pioneers": Discover what life was like for Florida pioneers by visiting Brevard's oldest standing home (the 1875 Sams cabin), doing pioneer "chores" and going on a nature hike.

Grades 3-5 "Florida's Diverse History": Go back in time to Florida's beginnings and sift for fossils, explore a Native American camp, learn how to throw an atlatl, see inside the 1875 Sams cabin, and explore the surrounding woods.

Grades 6-12 "Pioneer Pathways": Learn about plants used by Native Americans and pioneers, hike our nature trail, and tour the 1875 Sams cabin and 1888 Sams home.

Homeschool Programs
All programs can be one or two hours in length. Choose from: Little Pioneers, Megafauna, Native Americans, Ecology.

Wildlife visitors

Buckeye butterfly
Buckeye butterfly
Coyote visitor
Coyote visitor

Wildlife visitors

Beautiful Common Buckeye visited Sams House lawn during recent House Painting activities. Junonia coenia habitat includes open areas with low vegetation and patches of bare ground.

Recently a coyote also visited, and observed the strange human folk from a distance.

This video shows other wildlife that can be seen on the trail.

Pioneer life

Pioneer Day At Sam's House
Pioneer Day At Sam's House | Source

Pioneer life

Pioneer Life is discussed frequently in the oldest standing structure, the Sams House Cabin. As a member of the attentive audience you will learn about the life of the Sams family and some of the interesting activities of the people of the Courtenay community.

The new Nature Pavilion

The Trail of Sam's House at Pine Island

A little history of the Church and cemetery where members of the Sams family lay at rest.
A little history of the Church and cemetery where members of the Sams family lay at rest. | Source
Original St. Luke Episcopal Church, site of the cemetery where John and Sarah Sams and other members of the Sams family are interred.
Original St. Luke Episcopal Church, site of the cemetery where John and Sarah Sams and other members of the Sams family are interred. | Source
John Sams tomstone
John Sams tomstone | Source
Sarah Sams, wife of John Sams
Sarah Sams, wife of John Sams | Source

Other members of the Sams Family

In conclusion....

The history, the houses, the artifacts, the land & atmosphere, ...everything is so very interesting and refreshing here. The staff & volunteers at Sam's House are very nice, educated, informed and enthusiastic. It is definitely a place that you will want to go back to.

Have you been to Sams House in Pine Islands Florida?

Have you been to Sams House, Pine Island

See results

© 2015 Gina Welds Hulse

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Gina Welds-Hulse profile imageAUTHOR

      Gina Welds Hulse 

      2 years ago from Rockledge, Florida

      We did have a great time, and plan to go back during December when it is cooler. It a gem of a place!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Your hub is interesting. The photos are vividly clear. Sounds like your family had a good time at Sam's House. I would like to visit. Thank you for sharing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)