Tampa & West Tampa History Time Line (1860 to 1884)



Road 1870's









Tampa 1882










South Florida Line








V. M. Ybor








The following is a timeline of some of the most important events that help to create what is for us today'sTampa..._

1860 February - Florida had the smallest population of the Southern states. It was invested in plantation agriculture. Florida had only 140,424 people, of whom 44% were enslaved. There were fewer than 1,000 free people of color before the Civil War.
1861 January 10, - before the start of the American Civil War, Florida declared its secession from the Union; ten days later (January 20), the state became a founding member of the Confederate States of America.

1862 February 3, - the city government is suspended during the Civil War.

  • February 22,- a Military Rule is established. Hon. John Jackson was the Mayor.
  • October - during the Civil War, gunboats of the Union, attack the township of Tampa.

1864 May 6, both Fort Brooke and Tampa township were captured and occupied by Union Forces. As Tampa languished during the 1870s and early 1880s, so did Fort Brooke. The last roll call of soldiers occurred in March 12, 1882.

1866 October 25, - the Military Rule is lifted and a Civilian government was re-established. At the time Hon. Edward A. Clark was the active Mayor until March 1, 1869.

1868 June 25, - on this date Florida's congressional representation was restored. After meeting the requirements of Reconstruction, including ratifying amendments to the United States Constitution, Florida was readmitted to the United States.

  • October 10, began the Ten Years' War in Cuba, which lasted from 1868 to 1878, and eventually contributed to the abolition of slavery, and the movement of independence of Cuba from Spain.

1869 June 2nd, – Eduardo Manrrara (1842-1912) was hired by Vicente Martinez Ybor as company comptroller. Later Ybor’s partner, and financial genius (1871).

1870 May, - Mr. Vicente Martinez Ybor, and other manufacturers (15) relocated their cigar factories to Key West. And for around 17 years maintained successful operations there.

  • Census of 1870 reported a total of 796 permanent residents in the township of Fort Brooke. (251 are soldiers, and 545 civilians.
1871 December 24, - at this time there at least twenty nine cigar factories in Key West, and thousands of Cuban’s moved to the island creating a huge population boom, and a major industry of hand made Clear Havana Cigars. At this time Key West is one of the fastest growing population cities in the U.S.

1875 Tuesday March 9, - Today Mr. John C.Williams and Mr. Peter Demen adquired the first tracks of land west of Tampa Bay for urban development and train depot. Mr. Williams was originally from Detroit, Michigan and Mr. Demen from St. Petersburgh, Russia. Known later as the township of St. Petersburgh.

1877 January, - part of Fort Brooke land was placed in the market, and sold (148 acres) to those who wished to file homestead claim. At this time the Mayor is Hon. H.P. Lovering.
1878 - February - a stage-coach line is connecting Fort Brooke with Tucker Town (Dade City) and doing weekly round trips, as stop from Fort King (Ocala).

1880 The Census of 1880 report a total of 720 permanent residents in the township of Tampa. Records also indicate 47 germans as residents. They work in jobs such as printing, and lithography (10), carpenters or woodworkers (12), iron (7), and mill work (9). Also as pharmacist (1), bookkeeping (3), buchers(2) and store owner (1).

1883 - Fort Brooke was decommissioned by the US Army in the Spring of 1883; and the population of the township of Tampa drop to 354 residents.

  • June, - H.B. Plant initiated the construction of the South Florida Railway.
  • August, the American Exhibition of Products in Boston, Massachusetts, made the official introduction of the canned “Guava Jelly”as a desert.
  • December 10 – on this date the first train moved on the tracks from Tampa to Plant City on December 10, 1883, and service to more distant points on February 13, 1884.
1884 January 22, - Henry B. Plant had extended his railroad closer to the township of Tampa from the town of Plant City in the east. Offering an alternative for travelers and merchandise.

1884 November, 10 - Gavino Gutierrez, and Bernardino Gargol, visit the Tampa township by first time, in search of the guava fruit. Discovering the area possibilities for development as a port town. When they arrived to Key West, months after, they visit a mutual friend (V.M. Ybor), and inform him about the town that they just discover.


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History Collection

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Author - Researcher: W. Reyes, Ph.D.