Description - In the mid-1800s, Cuban exile and entrepreneur Don Vicente Martinez Ybor, was in search of a new frontier where he could build a cigar industry. He settled in northeast Tampa based on railroad and shipping access. By 1886, Ybor manufactured more cigars than anywhere else in the world. Twenty-five percent of the town's 20,000 workers, many of whom were immigrants, were employed in the cigar industry. Offshoot businesses including restaurants and a newspaper where results of the good times. In 1898 the Spanish-American war erupted. Ybor City became a support center for the Cuban Revolution when President Theodore Roosevelt stationed the "Rough Riders" here. However, it marked the beginning to the end of the town's heyday. A culmination of events including the flourishing cigarette craze and then the depression of the 1930s forced factories to shut down thus individuals moved away.
Copyright: Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Ybor City State Museum
- In the 1970s a revitalization effort took place in Ybor City. The area is now churning with nightlife, shops, and fine dining. The State Museum covers one-half of a city block complex that includes a bakery, a plaza garden, and "shotgun" homes.
Recreation - Visitors to the heart of Tampa's historic district will find The Ferlita Bakery, a National Historic Place, serving as a museum, visitor center, and gift shop. Thousands come each year to view the large baking ovens and colorful exhibits depicting Ybor City's earlier years. Cigar workers lived in homes called "shotgun" houses. An excellent example is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday from 10 A.M. to Noon and from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M.
Climate - Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.
Ybor City State Museum is located in Tampa encompassing one-half city block at the corner of 9th Avenue and 19th Street.