Tampa Cigar Industry & History Time Line (1887 to 1890)



Road 1870's




Tampa 1882





V.M. Ybor Factory





Hugh MacFarlane






Serafin Sánchez











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

1887 January 17, – official first strike is declared by the cigars workers union “Caballeros del Trabajo”, against V.M. Ybor factory “Pricipe de Gales”. The workers wanted increased wages. Between 1887 and 1894 there were 23 workouts.

  • Monday January 31, - Mr. Mac Farlane process and surveyed the 120 acres into individual lots, streets, public areas, and industrial sites. The land was two blocks wide and five blocks long and from here West Tampa emerged..
  • Friday February 4th – the Ybor City train station terminal open for business. Located in the corner of 16th Street and 6th Avenue.
  • February 28, - the U.S. Congress authorize making it Port Tampa, part of the District of Key West, making an official port of entry.
  • Wednesday March 16, - Port Tampa facilities were inaugurated today in a ceremony, and open for business, providing better access to the cities (Tampa, West Tampa & Ybor City).
1887 June 2nd, - the Board of Trade of the Town of Tampa requested to the Florida Legislature to permit Tampa to extend its boundaries to include Ybor City. Ybor strongly opposed the annexation, but spite his protestation, and less of two years of his creation Ybor City was incorporated to Tampa. And it was consider a city within a city.
1887 July 9th – a yellow fever and malaria ravish once again the area with more than 156 victims. They were 2,990 residents in the township with 895 register voters in Tampa, and 2,095 Ybor City residents.
1887 July 15th, – the township of Tampa received incorporation in the state capitol to be recognize as the City of Tampa. This as a result of the annexation of Ybor City.

1888 April 2, – El Pasaje Hotel & Restaurant open for business; located in the NW corner of 9th Avenue and 14th Street. With luxury accommodations and excellent restaurant was part of a major commercial area. This was also the location of the Cherokee Club, an organization of influential Ybor residents that used it for social events and visiting VIP’s.

  • April 16, - First Volunteer Fire Station in Ybor City started service, located at 1313 E. 8th Avenue. The station name was Mirta Hook, to honor the youngest daughter of Don Vicente Martinez Ybor. It was lead by Capt. Frank Puglisi.

1888 June 4th – The Vicente Martinez Ybor Cigar Factory complex is completed buildings construction. Four buildings, and new offices area were added. The local architect, and designer C.E. Parcell was in charge of the project, that end up be the tallest building in Tampa at the time of its construction. With railroad tracks connection to the main lines, dedicated for shipping cigars, and receiving raw tobacco.

  • June 11th - The Centro Asturiano Cementery started operation, located north of the city at 3698 N. Ola Avenue, Tampa, Florida.

1888 July 18th. – Cubans formed one of the first groups for mutual medical assistance, called Los Caballeros de la Luz, El Porvenir. This provided medical assistance specially during the Yellow Fever epidemic times.

  • ...July 23rd. - The City of Tampa aproved the operation of the new Woodland Cementery, located north of the city at 3412 N. Ola Avenue. Mr. George Harrison was appointed manager.

1889 February, 2nd – the first cigar box company is created in Ybor City by A. A. Wood of Michigan. A two-story building 90x35 feet located in proximity to cigar factories, and adjacent to a planning mill to turn about 4,000 boxes a day. Also two printing presses, a Thorpe-Gordon, and a Peerless, which print labels, ribbons, and brand names. Now all this work can be done locally. The factory facilities was located at 1625 E. 7th Avenue and 17th Street.

1890 - Thursday January 2, - There were 129 cigar factories in operation in Key West, and 14 in Ybor City.

1890 - Monday March 17, - Mr. Hugh Mac Farlane was named the State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Court, from which he resigned after a year of service.

1890 February – the Ybor City Ice Works started operations providing ice for the Ybor City area, located at the corner of 5th Avenue and 13th Street.
1890 June 12, - City officials and Mayor Herman Glogowski report a city population number of 5, 532 residents.

1890 October – Henry B. Plant open a railroad depot at 6th Avenue and 16th Street, providing storage & warehouse facilities.


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History Collection

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