Brevard County History: The Merritt Island Dragon

By  //  May 23, 2013

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A MERRITT ISLAND ICON FOR 30 YEARS

ABOVE PHOTO: 1991- Florida Tech rowers glide past the famous Merritt Island dragon sculpture, which once faced the Eau Gallie causeway bridge and has since disintegrated into the Indian River. (Photo courtesy of Florida Institute of Technology)

ABOVE PHOTO: 1991- Florida Tech rowers glide past the famous Merritt Island dragon sculpture, which once faced the Eau Gallie causeway bridge and has since disintegrated into the Indian River. (Photo courtesy of Florida Institute of Technology)

mathers-bridge-300

For 52 years, Mather’s Bridge Restaurant was among the top local hangouts for the Brevard’s “movers and shakers.” Located just North of Merritt Island’s river dragon, it closed its doors in 1992.(Photo Courtesy of Blue Slawtooth Art

Merritt Island was never mentioned in Medieval Folklore, but an enormous dragon named “Annie” was one of the most iconic landmarks in Brevard County history. For three decades, the 35-foot tall, 65-foot long, 18 ton concrete sculpture stood guard over Dragon Point, on the extreme southern point of the island.

Since the dragon was eroded by severe storms and vandalized in the early 2000’s, multiple attempts have been made to rebuild the dragon.

1971 – CONSTRUCTION: Florida artist artist Louis VanDercar and original property owner and Aynn Christa.

1981 – EXPANSION: Warren McFadden took over ownership of the land where the dragon was constructed. McFadden added  a tail, extended neck, two cavemen and several eggs with baby dragons.


2002 – DESTRUCTION:
Severe storms and vandalism destroyed the majority of the dragon. The head and most of the front section fell into the river.

7decf26602001a5e41d425d8eb9c4a682003 – INSPIRATION FOR A CHILDREN’S BOOK: A children’s book about the dragon, River Dragon: A Real Florida Fairy Tale, was published in 2003 by Mother/daughter team Diane Carr and Kira Earley.

2012 – FOUNDING OF SAVE DRAGON POINTSave Dragon Point, an organisation dedicated to rebuilding the dragon statue, was founded in May 2012.

 IN THE COMMENT SECTION, SHARE YOUR MEMORIES OF ANNIE THE RIVER DRAGON

TO SEE MORE STORIES ON SPACE COAST HISTORY VISIT OUR BREVARD HISTORY PAGE 

VIDEO BELOW: Archived footage of Annie the Merritt Island River Dragon.

 

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