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
Nicknamed Annie after the first landowner's wife, the concrete
dragon has guarded the southern tip
of Merritt Island near the Eau Gallie Causeway
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
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.