Palm Bay’s Hidden and Neglected Cemetery Watches Time Pass
PALM BAY, Florida – A busy road passes a hidden and neglected eternal resting place – it’s a contrast between past and present.
But when it comes to Maxie Brannon Cemetery, there is one man passionate about its restoration.
What would you like to know
- The Maxie Brannon Cemetery in Palm Bay is located on Palm Bay Road near I-95
- The cemetery has not been maintained for a long time, and has fallen into very poor condition
- Dan Fisher, however, is trying to change that
Dan Fisher is a talker.
For decades his passion was ham radio and working as an operator communicating with other radio amateurs and emergency managers during severe storms, such as hurricanes.
As a former Palm Bay Police Officer, he has dedicated his life to protecting and preserving life.
“I caught the virus when I was a kid,” Fisher said. “My parents bought me a shortwave radio kit, so I put it together. I would stay up all night listening to all kinds of stuff on it.”
Although his work tends to coincide with history, he also strives to preserve the history of his community.
A piece of that history is the final resting place of some southern Brevard settlers from long ago.
It’s called the Maxie Brannon Cemetery, a small 15 by 10 meter lot covered by an old oak tree along Palm Bay Road near I-95.
It’s a neighborhood that Fisher roamed for years as a police officer, but he never stopped – even now, more than 53,000 cars pass through it every day.
“A handful of people even know it’s there, and probably fewer think about it after that,” Fisher said.
There is only one unmarked headstone and historians say only two people buried here can be identified out of the estimated 30 graves.
These two are the grandchildren of Maxie Brannon, Moses and Myrtle, who died in infancy in the early 1900s.
“It’s neglected, it’s overgrown, you can’t even tell if there’s an inscription on the headstone,” Fisher said.
Traffic will continue to spin and development will continue all around, but Fisher wants the hallowed ground properly maintained.
He hopes it will happen, to honor those buried here.
“It’s a piece of history, and it’s just buried and forgotten,” he said. “I’d like to see it better preserved. Maybe the Boy Scouts can handle it.”
Spectrum News spoke with city officials from Palm Bay, which owns the property, who said there were no immediate plans to restore the cemetery.