This photograph is now just a treasured memory of South Merritt Island's Dragon Point.
Sculpted in 1971 by Lewis VanDercar, and has since, crumbled into the water, where the Banana river meets Indian River. The giant fire breathing cement and steel structure, was an anticipated sight, for anyone crossing Eau Gallie causeway. The annual Eye of the Dragon 5K run, over the causeway each year was named after, and commemorates the statue. The narrow strip of land that was guarded by Annie the Dragon, is the southern most tip of Merritt Island.
The most scenic drive in Brevard county is the trip north on the Tropical Trail. It begins nearby at Mather's Bridge, where Banana River Drive ends at one side of the bridge and Tropical Trail begins. Mather's Bridge is itself, quite a scenic landmark. This old drawbridge connects South Merritt Island to Indian Harbor Beach, and is a classical looking, tranquil harbor. A picture which one may expect to see on a post card. Playful bottle nosed Dolphins can be spotted chasing the speckled trout, and other fish, almost daily. The bridge has walkways on both sides, so it's a great place to park and take a stroll. Local fishermen and out of town anglers can always be seen trying their luck in the deep waters of the drawbridge's channel. The deep waters make it an ideal place to land some real lunkers.
Mid summer is a great time to travel along the narrow of Tropical Trail. On one side of the trail, lay a long column of aged wooden docks, and across the street is a mixed variety of modest river homes, and gorgeous houses with clay shingled rooftops, and vine laden gazebos. Palm trees, and Live Oaks, draped with Spanish moss give the trail, and inhabitants, plenty of shade. The best feature about these homes is they also have water frontage in the back of the property, on the Banana river. The land stays narrow for several miles before it begins to widen just a mile or so, past the Pineda causeway, allowing for many of these, dual dock properties.
There is an abundance of mangoes growing all along the trail, and many residents, own orchards, and peddle the fruit beside the road. Driving on the trail in the July, can be a tasty surprise as you happen upon every variety of mango grown. My favorite is the Champagne Mango which although very stringy, is the sweetest of all the many varieties.
There is another South Merritt Island, for all intensive purposes. It emerges out of the Banana River Lagoon between the Pineda and Merritt Island causeways. New Found Harbor Drive divides this well developed peninsula, and the many water front properties enjoy a leisurely life of remoteness, tucked away in between the waters.
Both South Merritt Islands are like finding buried treasures. when you are searching to purchase a new home in the Space Coast. In today's active real estate “buyer's market”, a home here could be a valuable asset from the moment you leave settlement, and for many years in the future.