Tampa Cigar Industry & History Time Line (1891 to 1894)



Henry B. Plant






Tampa 1882







José J. Martí






Serafin Sanchez








Fernando Figueredo














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

1891 January- Henry B. Plant open this ornate Moorish structure at a cost of 3 million dollars, and it became the social, and cultural center of early Tampa. 150 acres (0.6 km2) of manicured gardens on the west bank of the Hillsborough River.
1891 March 7, - A group of Italians (70) arrived from New Orleans, and some others (30) from St. Cloud, Florida. They are merchants looking to open business in Ybor City.
1891 Tuesday March, 10 - Mr. John Higley Drew moved to Tampa and started the business association with Mr. Hugh McFarlane for the development of West Tampa.

1891 Thursday March, 12 - Mr. John Higley Drew and Mr. Hugh McFarlane got a meeting this morning in Ybor City with Mr. Martínez Ybor and his business partner Mr. Manrara to talk about their plans related to the development of West Tampa.

1891 Friday April 10, - The West Tampa Title & Paving Company was created by Mr. John Higley Drew.

1891 October 22, - the Centro Español (Spanish Club) was presented as a mutual aid society.
1891 November 12, - a fire breaks out in the Aurelio Campos restaurant on 7th Avenue, between 14th and 15th Streets. At the end destroys two and a half city blocks. Changes in building construction were implemented creating the distictive brick look.
1891 November 25, 1891 – José Marti visit Tampa by first time. This was the first of 21 visit that he did to the “Cigar City”. A day later he was a guest of the Ignacio Agramonte Club at El Liceo Cubano where he made an eloquent speach.

1891 Saturday December 12, - Mr. MacFarlane, and his associates convince the Del Pino Brothers Cigar Company from Key West to move their factory to West Tampa.

1891 December 21, - the Centro Espanol (Spanish Club) was formed in Ybor City as a teaching and recreation facility. First president was Ignacio Haya, and the club building was located in the NW corner of 7th Avenue & 16th Street.

1892 February 29, - Today de Congress of the State of Florida aproved the incorporation of the City of Saint Petersburgh, with a population of 300 residents.

  • May 10,- the Cuban Revolutionary Party was established in Ybor City. This was formed by a group of Cubans looking to obtain the Cuban Independence from Spain via a revolution.
1892 October 21, - the World’s Fair Columbian Exposition dedication ceremonies were held in City of Chicago. More than 27 million people attended the exposition during its six-month run. Tampa Cigar Manufacturers were represented there too, providing a more international presentation to the new “Cigar City” to the world.
The fair continued until October 30, 1893.
1893 July 18, - Jose Marti arrived in Tampa to visit a few cigar factories in Ybor City, and West Tampa to obtain the cigar makers economical support for the Cuban Revolution.

1894 March 18, - Spanish agents try to poisoned Jose Marti, during a reception at the Cuban Club. Marti survived the attempt, and after a few weeks returned to New York. Marti saved the Spaniards from lynching, and forgave them, in gratitude the two men joined the revolutionary movement.

  • March 19,- Marti stay in the Pedroso's house for over two month, then in May17 he went to his home in New York. (This entry was made by Eduardo Manrara in his dairy).
1894 March 23, - Mr. Henry Leiman, an agent of the Wicke Cigar Box Company of New York, completed the deal with A. A. Wood, to open business, merge, and create the new Tampa Box Company, in order to increase production.
1894 Wednesday April 4, - One hundred families disembarked the steamship Mascotte, and made their way to West Tampa. Among the 150 or so cigar workers, was a bookkeeper, named Mr. Fernando Figueredo.
1894The Italian Club (L’Unione Italiana) was founded with club location at the corner of 7th Avenue and 18th Street in Ybor City.
1894 Monday April 9, - Mac Farlane Investment Co. was founded for the development and land purchases. Also the company provided agricultural and livestock operations as well.
1894 April 20, - Mr. Serafin Sanchez died of pneumonia at his home located at, No. 380 Macon Street, Brooklyn,at 11.30 in the evening on April 20, 1894. The names Serafin Sanchez, and Ignacio Haya have made history in the cigar industry and in Tampa as Sanchez & Haya Cigar, Company – Factory No. 1.
1894 October 5, - Jose Marti visited Mr. Fernando Figueredo in West Tampa at 404 Main Street, home of the "Cuban Revolutionary Party". The meeting was related to the plans of the January 1895 revolution attempt.


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