anchored, charity, dragon, dragon hatchlings, dragon point, eau gallie causeway, Florida, freedom, ICW, indian tribes, intercoastal waterway, joy, lewis vandercar, merritt island, mother and babies, mystical, sailed, southern tip, sunshine, warren mcfadden, waterway
Currently we sit anchored 100 feet off Dragon’s Point, Merritt Island Florida. There is no longer a Dragon here, only part of his feet are now here which is a sad. Here is a bit of background of the sculpture that used to be here at a major navigation aid to the waterway. There is talk of having it rebuilt but am not sure of the status. If you know anymore please comment and let us know.
ON GUARD: Driving over the Eau Gallie Causeway wouldn’t be complete without a glimpse of the mystical dragon guarding the southern tip of Merritt Island.
Nicknamed Annie after the first landowner’s wife, the concrete dragon has guarded the southern tip of Merritt Island near the Eau Gallie Causeway since 1971.
IN THE BEGINNING: The 67 foot tall, 100 foot long, reptile was crafted of 20 tons of concrete and steel by artist Lewis VanDercar. He constructed the skeleton of steel rods and sheets of steel.
The concrete was brought to the site in wheelbarrows because the cement truck could not squeeze down the narrow path leading to the dragon. VanDercar created the dragon’s scales by hand with concrete and a special trowel.
LEGENDARY PAST: The massive sculpture embodies a legend of peaceful Indian tribes who inhabited Merritt Island and sailed the Intercoastal Waterway.
The story varies, depending on who tells it. But basically, a witch doctor conjured a dragon, or giant iguana, to protect his people from enemy tribes on the mainland. If the dragon was sighted rising out of the mist where the Banana and Indian rivers met, it signaled good fortune.
Hence the name, Dragon Point. It is said the spirit of the dragon still protects the people who live on the island.
FAMILY TIES: Warren McFadden, who bought Dragon Point in 1981, hired VanDercar to add a long curved tail and four dragon hatchlings – christened Joy, Sunshine, Charity, and Freedom. He also asked VanDercar to construct caveman-type furniture for the inside of the dragon’s belly to make a play room for his son.
IN THE END: VanDercar returned periodically to make repairs until he died in 1993. Since then, time and the elements have taken a toll on the proud mother and her babies.
In the past, the dragon has been the site of various charitable fund-raisers, but is not open to the public.
Information was found on http://www.schmidtfamily.com/dragon_point.htm