Field Manor Homestead offers glimpse of life in the past

Field Manor Homestead is on a 45-acre piece of property directly on the Indian River waterfront on Merritt Island.

Field Manor Homestead — just down the road on Merritt Island — was built in 1880 for the Field family. It is the oldest home built and still standing on Merritt Island.

This outstanding 45-acre piece of property is directly on the Indian River waterfront. The landmark property includes the original authentically restored homestead, an active citrus grove and a packing house.

There is a treasure trove of artifacts from Merritt Island and America’s long history.

Learn how the pioneer Field family enjoyed the bounty of fish and oysters from the Indian River Lagoon, wildlife on shore, cattle and other livestock.

Now under the umbrella of the Field Manor Foundation, the homestead is actively being restored. In a short time, Field Manor will be a thriving, living, working agricultural museum depicting the settlement of Merritt Island.

Plans include a new visitor center with exhibits and literature as well as a restored Indian River dock facility. A packing house museum will have displays about the citrus industry. They also are in the process of reconstructing the property’s original sugar cane mill.

Various vegetable fields show that crops were grown on the property during the 19th century. A large enclosed barn (there had been one on the original property) will offer indoor classes, demonstrations, events and community functions.

New camping areas for children will have facilities for eating and cooking, as well as restrooms.

At this time, Field Manor grows crops such as oranges, mangos and key limes. Honey bees are prevalent. Field Manor shares a partnership with the University of Central Florida to protect the Indian River Lagoon’s riverfront and to cultivate fresh oyster river beds.

Tours of the 19th century two-story home, which is now a wonderful museum, and the active historical property can be scheduled by calling 321-848-0365.

Field Manor is at 750 Field Manor Drive. Its entrance is on Tropical Trail. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.