next residents and Joe Jr., and his wife,
Alma Clyde, continued the tradition.
TROVE OF TREASURES
The thrifty family rarely threw away
anything, a fortunate habit for which
local history buffs are grateful, since Field
Manor serves as a kaleidoscope of historical
items from Brevard’s pioneer days.
“The house and packing house contain
many original items, including photos,
citrus equipment, books, sewing machine,
furniture and china,” Braden said.
Thanks to Alma Clyde Field, there was no
question the manor would ever be lost to
Michael Boonstra, archivist with the
Brevard County Historical Commission,
knew “Clyde,” as Alma was known, well.
The late Alma “Clyde” Field made sure that the
special place she called home survived beyond her
as a lesson to future generations by establishing
the Field Manor Foundation.
“I always think of her when I think of
Field Manor, as it would not be there if it
wasn’t for her,” he said. “Clyde devoted
a great deal of her time and financial
resources to making sure that the special
place she called home survived beyond
her as a lesson to future generations.”
She had the homestead listed in the
National Park Service’s National Register
for Historic Places and later created the
Field Manor Foundation, which outlined
her vision for the property to become a
museum. By the time she died in 2013,
she had set in place revenue for the
foundation to realize her dream.
The majority of furnishings and artifacts at the manor are original to the Field family, giving the homestead
an additional layer of authenticity.
The Fields created and named the tiny
town of Indianola, which enveloped
the homestead and land belonging to
“Indianola was a smallish village, but
with a clubhouse, school and church
right next to each other, it was an active
place, and from newspaper clippings, often
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events went on well past midnight,”
The story goes that even presidents visited
the clubhouse for a lively game of cards.
A MANOR CHRISTMAS
At Christmas, Field Manor and its little
town glittered with activity.
In 1895, the Indian River Advocate
noted that “the fancy-dress ball at the
clubhouse on Christmas night was well
attended and quite a brilliant affair.”
Christmas dinner probably included
meats from the farm and seafood from
the lagoon, for the Fields were so fond of
hosting oyster and fish fries throughout
the year that Field Manor recreates one
of these events every fall.
“Merritt Island had lots of cattle, wild
hog, ducks, chicken, as well as treats
from the river,” Braden said. “I can only
imagine many of them ended up on the
Maintaining a historical home requires
STEVEN R. HICKS
If you go …
ADDRESS: 750 Field Manor Drive,
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesdays through Saturdays.
TOURS: Guided 45-minute tours take
guests through every room of the
structure and include a walk to the
riverfront and the groves. Executive director
Korinn Braden conducts tours
from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through
Saturday. Visitors are asked to call ahead
for timed tickets. Special tours and events
such as high tea at the home’s dining table
can be scheduled.
ADMISSION: $10 for adults and $5 for
students age 16 and younger.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Visit fieldmanor.org or call 321.848.0365.
lots of money and manpower, so in
addition to hosting tours and school
groups, Field Manor helps to earn its
keep by hosting weddings and special
events. Sunset weddings are extremely
popular, for as a father of a bride once
put it, “Field Manor sunsets are second
Beyond the house, the surrounding land
also shares its past. Grove manager
Darren Welch works hard in the neverending
task of farming crops the Fields