Guardian Of Dragon Point

by SidewalkPhilosopher

Until recently, the Indian River Lagoon was guarded by our Annie, a very large and impressive Dragon.

Although no one is certain exactly when, during the storm, Annie succumbed, resident, Ruth Blow said that she was glad she did not see her fall. It would have been far too sad a sight.


Dragon Point, as it is called, can be seen just north of the Eau Gallie Causeway (FL 518), at the entrance of the Banana River. This is where the Indian River and the Banana River meet, at the tip of Merritt Island, Florida. Until recently, the Indian River Lagoon was guarded by a very large and impressive Dragon, as she watched over, not only the river, but her eggs and hatching baby.

The Legend of Dragon Point

A legend is told of Dragon Point. It speaks of peaceful Indian tribes who inhabited Merritt Island and sailed the Intercostals Waterway. The stories vary, but basically tell of a witch doctor who conjured a dragon, or giant iguana, to protect his people from danger. When the dragon was sighted rising out of the mist where the rivers meet, it was the signal of good fortune. Thus, the name Dragon Point. It is still said that the dragon’s spirit protects those who live on the island.

This is the story of Annie, as she came to be called, nicknamed for the landowner’s wife, Aynn Christal, who had the sculpture built.

Annie became an icon in Brevard county, finding her way into the hearts of many from 1971 until her natural destruction in 2004. Driving over the Eau Gallie Causeway was never complete without a glimpse of the mystical dragon and she is missed by those of us who knew her.

The Birth Of Annie

Constructed by artist, Lewis VanDercar, of steel rods and sheets of metal, her scales and face of concrete, she stood thirty-five feet high, was sixty-five feet long and weighed twenty tons. The concrete was brought to her side in wheelbarrows because the trucks could not pass down the narrow path leading to her massive girth.

VanDercar formed her scales by hand with a special trowel. Propane tanks were planted near her nostrils so that she could actually breathe fire. On Independence Day, smoke would come out of the dragon’s nose and fire out of its mouth.

Annie once had working electricity to light tables, chairs, and stairs that led up to the nostrils. Looking out through them, visitors could watch the sun rise and set over the lagoon.

Annie's Passing

In 1981, Annie and the family home was purchased by Warren McFadden. He hired VanDercar to return for renovations of Annie and to add a long curved tail and four dragon hatchlings, christened Joy, Sunshine, Charity, and Freedom. He also had VanDercar construct caveman-type furniture for the inside of the dragon’s belly to make a play room for his son. On occasion, birthday parties were held there.

In the end, VanDercar periodically returned to make repairs until his death in 1988. Since then, time and the elements have taken their toll on this proud creature. During a storm on August 5, 2002, she was badly damaged by the rain. In 2004, she collapsed during a Hurricane Frances and fell sadly into the waters of the lagoon. Much of Annie now lies on the coquina rock that helped preserve her from waves. Most of this magnificent sculpture is in the water. Today, only parts of her legs, lower torso and hatchlings are visible.

Her Loss

Mr. McFadden did not know Annie was gone until a television reporter knocked on his door and told him. McFadden mostly blames vandals for the dragon's demise. Its position on the point made it susceptible to people wielding sledgehammers and spray cans. "We're in a new world today. I don't know what kick they get out of it," McFadden said. "It's very sad, the world we live in." McFadden said he bought Dragon Point because it is one of the few places in the world like it. McFadden moved to Brevard from Fort Lauderdale. "You could never replace that. VanDercar is dead,"

McFadden said.

Although no one is certain exactly when, during the storm, Annie succumbed, resident, Ruth Blow said that she was glad she did not see her fall. It would have been far too sad a sight.

Her Memory


Each year there is a 5K run over the Eau Gallie causeway called "The Eye of the Dragon" in honor of our Annie.

The week following her collapse, Diane Carr wrote a children's book about her called "River Dragon".

Will Annie Be Rebuilt?

There is no plan to rebuild our Annie. It would not be the same with the death of VanDercar. She is but a memory now carried on the minds and hearts of those who loved and cherished her.

The private property, of which she once so faithfully guarded, is now for sale. The original home is still there at 11680 Dragon Point Drive. Though in great need of repair, it still holds its dignity of beauty and personal design. Having been built in 1961, standing on 0.55 acres with 5,707 square feet, the home boasts of four floors and basement with four bathrooms and two half baths.


Outside its walls is a once beautiful pool and garden overlooking the rivers on three sides. For those of you interested in this amazing piece of history, the selling price is $675,000 and includes the entire southern tip of the island.

Annie Lives On

I still find myself looking in her direction whenever I cross the causeway, though I know she will not be in view.

Annie is no longer visible to the human eye.

However, I am sure she is still there, guarding her island, lagoon, hatchlings, and whomever next resides in the family home.

As for the rest of us, Annie lives forever, seen with our mind's eye, each time we travel the causeway past her home on Dragon Point.

"River Dragon" by Diane Carr

For Sale On Amazon
River Dragon

Jawbone Pub Corp  / Only $16.95

View on Amazon

Updated: 05/09/2012, SidewalkPhilosopher
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Comments Are Always Welcome!

SidewalkPhilosopher on 07/31/2016

Thank you, Pamela...I still miss seeing Annie on the point!

Pamela on 07/31/2016

I recently heard about Annie from a dear friend of VanDercar. Reading this makes me so sad about not only the loss of Annie, but the loss of such a great artist. I am fortunate enough to have seen a number of pieces of his priceless works that my friend still owns. And the stories of his life are truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing this. I hope those who remember continue to keep the memory of Annie and Lewis VanDercar alive and well.

SidewalkPhilosopher on 09/14/2015

Thank you, BlackSpanielGallery!

blackspanielgallery on 09/14/2015

I particularly like your many images that are included.

Michey on 06/18/2013

I read it second time with the same pleasure...

SidewalkPhilosopher on 04/30/2012

Thank you, Michey...Annie was special to all of our kids. They were so sad when she fell away into the river. But steel rusts so badly here and concrete seems to just melt away with the salt air. It is such a shame, though. The artist fashioned every scale on her huge body by hand. It really should have been preserved.

michey on 04/30/2012

This is another little piece of history which is gone forever, so the nostalgia which transpire in your post is sincere and legitimate. And the writing is beautiful.
I traveled a lot in FL but I didn't meet Ann, now I knew that she existed.
Thanks for a lovely story.

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