Merritt Island Florida’s Historic 19th Century Waterfront Homestead, Grove and Farm.

What was it like to migrate, settle and live on the Indian River in coastal Florida at the end of the civil war? Imagine oppressive summer heat, bone-chilling winters, humidity, driving rains and tropical storms, big alligators, large roaming panthers, large swarming mosquitos and nearly invisible no-see-ums.

Join us at Merritt Island’s historic Field Manor and experience the life John R. and Eliza Field and their children lived coming from Macon, Georgia to start a dramatic and challenging new life in Florida in the late 1800’s.

 

Historic Preservation

Merritt Island’s Field Manor is a treasure trove of artifacts from America’s history. The homestead was built from tall, virgin Merritt Island pine trees cut from the surrounding land.  The “vernacular style” of this wood-frame home refers to its general simplicity and locally-sourced materials, reflective of the builder’s environment. The house was set back from the river behind a riverfront path that eventually connected other homes in Indianola, an historic unincorporated community on Merritt Island where U.S. Presidents were known to enjoy the card games in its Clubhouse.

In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which granted farmers up to 160 acres of land for the low price of $1.25/acre. The Field family applied twice, and part of the agreement was to construct a minimum 12×14 ft shelter. The existing historic structure, which dates to as early as 1880, reflects the family’s growing size and needs up through 1930.

Their  homestead and citrus groves are listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. This program coordinates and supports public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

Learn more:

  • See the latest news & information about Field Manor at the Field Manor Facebook page
  • Interested in touring the homestead and property? Contact us at 321-848-0365 or e-mail info@fieldmanor.org

Agriculture

Out of the many crops planted by the Field family, citrus thrived in the temperate climate and rich soil. It was harvested and shipped north by flat boat and train. The entire Indian River region became famous for its highly demanded citrus.”  J.R. Field cleaned, graded, sorted and boxed citrus in a packing house he built on the homestead in 1900. Today, visitors can walk through it and his groves, which are being replanted and restored.

The family’s sugar cane patch was another highly productive commodity. In one year alone it produced over 800 gallons of cane — sold at 50 cents/gallon — was highly profitable to produce. The cane still grows on the homestead, but the family’s mill is long gone. As farm restoration progresses, the old mill will be rebuilt.

The Field family also enjoyed the river’s bounty of fish and oysters, wildlife on shore, a substantial truck garden, and cattle for meat and dairy. J.R. reported that “the fish in the river were generally over 20 inches long” and oysters were so abundant there was genuine concern they would “eventually clog up the entrance to the Haul Over Canal.”

The river’s abundance enjoyed by the Field family has virtually disappeared. While environmentalists debate the exact cause, Field Manor is taking the lead with its Shoreline Restoration Project in partnership with the University of Central Florida. Oyster bags, mats and grasses have been placed along our 300 feet of shoreline in hopes of stopping erosion and rebuilding the natural habitat. Visitors can walk along the shoreline, which is serving as an educational site. Building back this fragile habitat across the Indian River Lagoon will help clean up the troubled estuary.

Honey bees have always been important for crop pollination at Field Manor. We’ve welcomed them back through our partnership with CL Best Honey Bees. Bee Keeper Clifford Best maintains our hives.

Learn more:

 

Events

Hidden on the Indian River on Merritt Island, this 45-acre site is full of romance and historic charm.

Field Manor is the perfect gathering location for company meetings and parties, community events, weddings, and other celebrations. You’ll have the choice of spacious or intimate settings for you and your guests to enjoy.
Event Opportunities include:

  • Weddings
  • Birthdays & Anniversaries
  • Community Events
  • Holiday & Seasonal Events
  • Reunions & Gatherings
  • Company Parties & Retreats
  • Photo shoots
  • Multi-Day Events
weddings

Event Planning

Through our Event Coordinator Valerie Paul, Field Manor provides event planning services. Ms. Paul is committed to offering superior service and exceptional value. Each event is our top priority and we give each client our complete attention and care, ensuring your complete satisfaction and a most memorable experience.

Field Manor Events

Field Manor also hosts regular, public events that engage with our community.

  • Music at the Manor
    Concert nights on our front lawn! Guests bring their chairs and a picnic and enjoy the music and waterfront sunset views.
  • Special Themed Events
    Past and future events include themed holiday tours and an Easter dog party.
  • Homecoming/Founders Day
    Annual cocktail party with attendees arriving in period costumes, which celebrates the Field Family’s arrival on Merritt Island. Event held every Spring.
  • Oyster Roast and Fish Fry
    Our Annual Oyster Roast and Fish Fry is a community-centric event in honor of the historic family custom dating back to over 100 years ago. Event held every Fall.

Learn more:

  • Learn more about upcoming events and see recent event photos at the Field Manor Weddings & Events Facebook page
  • Interested in hosting an event at Field Manor? Call 321-474-9142 or e-mail events@fieldmanor.org
 

Education

Let us plan the perfect day for you and your group at Field Manor. Bring your group for the ultimate discover-and-learn experience to see what life was like in the late 1800s.

A 45-minute docent-led tour takes you out on our beautiful, waterfront lawn and through the historic homestead. Immerse yourself in the lives of the original settlers, learn about the history of Field Manor, and experience what it was like to grow up on a real citrus farm.

Uniquely customized Field Trip opportunities are available for public and private schools as well as homeschool and co-op groups.

Admission & Reservations:

  • Cost:
    •  Adults: $10 donation requested
    • Children (16 and under): $5
  • Call ahead for Group Rates, Field Trip Rates, and to make a reservation.

Learn more:

 

Support Field Manor

Alma “Clyde” Field, the last living descendant of the Field family, established Field Manor Foundation in her estate. Her vision was to preserve and restore the historic homestead and citrus grove for the education and enjoyment of future generations. Field Manor is a unique and irreplaceable cultural resource that gives us a chance to look back, enjoy, and learn from our community’s past. We welcome your help to realize her wishes and keep this historical homestead and farm thriving for everyone to experience.

Financial support comes from a variety of sources, including membership, sales, proceeds from homestead and farm tours, event rentals, and special fundraising events. We welcome tax-deductible contributions and encourage you to become a member of our Friends of Field Manor to help with our restoration and preservation work.

Join the Friends of Field Manor

Become part of our exciting work by joining the “Friends of Field Manor.” As a member, you get to enjoy special privileges and benefits at all levels. Please consider making a charitable, tax-deductible donation and and become a member of our “Friends” family today!

Founder

$1,000

Per Year
  • 2 Tickets to the annual spring Founders Day Reception
  • 2 Tickets to Annual Oyster Roast
  • One free rental of Field Manor house ($350 Value)
  • Free guided tours of Field Manor Property
  • 2 bags of Field Manor Citrus
  • Regular e-mail updates on what’s happening around Field Manor

Become A Founder

Pay by credit card:
Click the ‘Donate’ button, then on the following web page, select ‘pay by credit card’ or use your Paypal account.

Or, mail your check, payable to Friends of Field Manor, to:
Field Manor Foundation
750 Field Manor Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Benefactor

$750

Per Year
  • 2 Tickets to the annual spring Founders Day Reception
  • 2 Tickets to Annual Oyster Roast
  • 50% discount on rental of Field Manor house
  • Free guided tours of Field Manor Property
  • Bag of Field Manor Citrus
  • Regular e-mail updates on what’s happening around Field Manor

Become A Benefactor

Pay by credit card:
Click the ‘Donate’ button, then on the following web page, select ‘pay by credit card’ or use your Paypal account.

Or, mail your check, payable to Friends of Field Manor, to:
Field Manor Foundation
750 Field Manor Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Patron

$500

Per Year
  • 2 Tickets to the annual annual Founders Day Reception
  • 50% off 2 tickets to Annual Oyster Roast
  • Free tours of Field Manor House
  • Regular e-mail updates on what’s happening around Field Manor

Become A Patron

Pay by credit card:
Click the ‘Donate’ button, then on the following web page, select ‘pay by credit card’ or use your Paypal account.

Or, mail your check, payable to Friends of Field Manor, to:
Field Manor Foundation
750 Field Manor Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Sustainer

$250

Per Year
  • 2 Tickets to the annual spring Founders Day Reception
  • 25% off 2 tickets to Annual Oyster Roast
  • Six free tours of Field Manor House
  • Regular e-mail updates on what’s happening around Field Manor

Become A Sustainer

Pay by credit card:
Click the ‘Donate’ button, then on the following web page, select ‘pay by credit card’ or use your Paypal account.

Or, mail your check, payable to Friends of Field Manor, to:
Field Manor Foundation
750 Field Manor Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Contributor

$100

Per Year
  • 2 Tickets to the annual spring Founders Day Reception
  • 25% off 2 tickets to Annual Oyster Roast
  • Six free tours of Field Manor House
  • Regular e-mail updates on what’s happening around Field Manor

Become A Contributor

Pay by credit card:
Click the ‘Donate’ button, then on the following web page, select ‘pay by credit card’ or use your Paypal account.

Or, mail your check, payable to Friends of Field Manor, to::
Field Manor Foundation
750 Field Manor Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Family

$50

Per Year
  • Saturday free tours of manor house & farm
  • 10% discount on event tickets for entire family
  • Regular e-mail updates on what’s happening around Field Manor

Become A Family Member

Pay by credit card:
Click the ‘Donate’ button, then on the following web page, select ‘pay by credit card’ or use your Paypal account.

Or, mail your check, payable to Friends of Field Manor, to:
Field Manor Foundation
750 Field Manor Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Field Manor Foundation is a 501 C3 not-for-profit organization registered in the State of Florida, under number CH46474. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE