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Visit Our Booth: Pioneer Day at Sams House and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

February 10 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm EST

12th Annual Pioneer Day Festival Celebrates Merritt Island History
Celebrating the early settlers of Merritt Island on Pioneer Day at two of their historic sites will take guests back in history through Florida living history demonstrations, 19th century architecture, house/cabin/chapel/cemetery tours, antiques/artifacts on display, music, and nature. Festival will be held at both Sams House/Pine Island Conservation Area and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Events at Sams House (10 am to 4 pm):

  • Florida living history demonstrations and educational exhibits that include archaeology and anthropology, historic reenactors, encampments and artifacts on display
  • New: Captain Kim Cullers, with his 22 ft sailboat on display, will discuss river travel and the importance of the postal route that was maintained by sailboat (as early as the late 19th century locally).
  • Live music throughout the day by Celery City String Band, Chris Kahl, Pine Trio, and Boylston Fish
  • A Pioneer “parade” throughout the grounds at 11 am, led by drum and fife, of those dressed in historic attire
  • Local exhibitors on history and nature from Brevard’s historical societies and museums as well as from Brevard’s Indian River Lagoon, natural lands, and environmental organizations
  • Brevard Veterans Memorial Center with a World War II Jeep on display
  • Vintage, crafts and farmer’s market vendors (baked goods, quilts, local honey, herbs, Florida paintings, books, etc.)
  • Pine Island guided nature trail hikes throughout the day
  • 1888 Sams House tours with rarely seen antiques on display
  • 1875 Sams Cabin with exhibits on the Sams family pioneers, early Native Americans, and Ice Age fossils
  • Pine Island Preservation Society tent with vintage items, hiking sticks, t-shirts, gifts, etc. for sale; raffle items include a local fruit basket
    • Children’s crafts and games – Hay Dive, Steer Roping, Cornhusk Dolls, “Cow” Milking and Tic Tac Toe
    • Heidi’s Miniature Goat Petting Farm until 1 pm
    • Local food trucks and kettle corn!

Events at St. Luke’s (10 am to 4 pm):
Perrine Hall: Lunch includes a variety of homemade chilis (traditional, white and vegetarian), grilled hot dogs and loaded baked potatoes.
**10:15 am CEMETERY: Guided Tour *“Military and Space” ***Highlighting a few of our military veterans from the Civil War to Vietnam as well as people associated with the Space Program11:00 am CHURCH: “Life on the Indian River Lagoon” Dixie Crossroads proprietor and environmental activist Laurilee Thompson will talk about growing up as a 4th generation Floridian in Brevard County’s seafood industry over the past six decades

11:30 am CEMETERY: Guided Tour “Founding Families” Early Merritt Island settlers who were also the founders of St. Luke’s

12:00 to 12:15 pm CHURCH: “Community together in Prayer”

12:15 pm CHAPEL: “St. Luke’s Chapel: A Gem of Carpenter Gothic Architecture” Jonathan Rich, author of Spires in the Sun: The Carpenter Gothic Episcopal Churches of Florida, will give a talk on how this unique style of architecture came to the Florida frontier of the 1800s. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale

1:00 pm CHAPEL: Pioneer Music

1:30 pm CHURCH: “Ais, Indigenous People of Merritt Island” Before pioneers, the Indigenous people called “Ais” lived on Merritt Island. Learn more about the original settlers from David McDonald

2:00 pm CEMETERY: Guided Tour “Through the Ages” A glimpse of Brevard History from the life stories of locals spanning the decades
Ongoing Events: Self-Guided Tours of St. Luke’s Historic Chapel and Cemetery

About St. Luke’s Episcopal Church:
The historic chapel onsite was built in 1888 with the help of Sams, LaRoche, and Porcher families. Many early pioneers, including John Sams, are buried in the church’s cemetery. The church is located at 5555 N. Tropical Trail, just 1.1 miles south of Sams House at Pine Island. For information call (321) 452-5260 or visit our website at http://www.stlukesmi.org.


February 10
10:00 am - 4:00 pm EST


Sams House, Pine Island
6195 N. Tropical Trail
Merritt Island, FL 32953 United States
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