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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Merritt Island in Brevard County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Dennis Sawyer Memorial Park and Cemetery

Circa 1956

 
 
Dennis Sawyer Memorial Park and Cemetery Circa 1956 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, February 23, 2022
1. Dennis Sawyer Memorial Park and Cemetery Circa 1956 Marker
Inscription.  Dennis Sawyer Memorial Park was established in 1956 when R.V. and Hazel Woods deeded three acres of land for use as an African American cemetery. It was originally managed by Greater Mount Olive AME Church, but years later, the cemetery deteriorated due to neglect and vandalism. Bahamian émigré Dennis Sawyer and his wife Rebecca are buried in the cemetery. The marker for Rebecca, who died in 1960, has deteriorated but remains readable. The grave for Dennis, who died in 1964, is unidentified, although there is a nearby concrete slab marker similar in design to Rebecca's. A survey uncovered six other gravesites. One, marked “MI Bowman,” was for a six-year-old child who died in 1962; only broken pieces of concrete remain for the other five. In 1963, two acres of the cemetery were deeded back to the Woods family, leaving only one acre for the cemetery. A portion of the last acre became property of Brevard County and was transformed into a park. The remaining property, which belonged to Dennis Sawyer Cemetery, was transferred to Brevard County in 1972 when the owner defaulted on unpaid taxes. That property was deeded back to Greater Mount Olive
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AME Church in 2012.
 
Erected 2020 by the Brevard County Historical Commission, the Brevard County Tourist Development Council, and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-1092.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1956.
 
Location. 28° 22.47′ N, 80° 42.348′ W. Marker is on Merritt Island, Florida, in Brevard County. Marker is on Bevis Road, 0.3 miles south of Lucas Road, on the right when traveling north. Bevis Road makes several turns from Lucas Road before you reach the marker. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 258 Bevis Rd, Merritt Island FL 32953, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Legacy of Dennis Sawyer (approx. half a mile away); Ulumay (approx. 1.6 miles away); John R. Field Homestead (approx. 1.6 miles away); The S. F. Travis Company (approx. 1.8 miles away); Emory Lawrence Bennett (approx. 1.8 miles away); Cocoa Village Playhouse (approx. 1.8 miles away); Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris (approx. 1.8 miles away); Edward Postell Porcher House (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Merritt Island.
 
Also see . . .
Dennis Sawyer Memorial Park and Cemetery Circa 1956 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, February 23, 2022
2. Dennis Sawyer Memorial Park and Cemetery Circa 1956 Marker
Rebecca Sawyer grave on the left.
 Greater Mt. Olive AME Church. (Submitted on February 26, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 10, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 26, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 312 times since then and 97 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 26, 2022, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.

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Jun. 23, 2024