Field Manor

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Despite arriving to Merritt Island's shores from Macon, GA in 1868, brothers JR and Samuel Field did not build their homes until 1880. The closest town with stores was Titusville, some fifteen miles away as the river flows. For twelve years they lived in a covered wagon, a tent, a lean to, a stockade house, and finally the balloon framed two story structure we now know as Field Manor. Taking  advantage of the Homestead Act of 1868, each brother purchased 160 acres, at $1.25/acre. The act required each recipient to build a permanent structure at least 12'x14', to live on the property for 5 years, and to improve local the economy.  JR  and his wife Eliza Cowart homesteaded a second time with a total of 320 acres. Sam and his wife Julia Feaster started the first post office and store in Indianola. JR grew tobacco, pineapple, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane. They lived off their crops and the cattle left by the Spanish, wild hogs, ducks, and fish and shellfish from the Indian River Lagoon. In the 1880s JR began growing Indian River citrus with great success. JR and his wife Eliza raised their three children in the home, with a total of three generations living under the same roof at the same time by 1913. The last Field family member, Alma "Clyde" Field, lived in the home until 2013. Alma started Field Manor Foundation in 1997 as a way to preserve east central Florida's pioneer past. The home opened to tours in 2015, showcasing the many items and artifacts belonging to the Field family and residents of Indianola. 

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