When out of town visitors come to our store and community info center of sorts in Ybor City, they ask what to do, where to go and of course about the history of what made Tampa famous, the hand-rolled cigar making. It isn’t just the cigars that entice them to see Ybor, it is the fascinating culture, festivals and older architectural buildings and cigar factory structures all over the district that make visitors enjoy the famed National Landmark Historic District. Cigar factories buildings start in 1886, was in the outskirts swamp lands, now Ybor City. Tampa then became known as “The Cigar Capital of the World!” when Vincent Martinez-Ybor started and relocated a dream tobacco venture in 1885 that still continues today. We know that the possibility of tearing down some of the old historic factories is still feasible. In fact only one of 2 wooden historic cigar factories still remain; the old Oliva & Monett Cigar Factory on Palm & 19th Street.
Hillsborough County Historical Preservation Advisory Council
I sit on the Hillsborough County Historical Preservation Advisory Council for significant Hillsborough County points of historical interest and historical land markers. It is always a treat to share the past local history and keeping that history alive.
Most recently, the council dedicated two Hillsborough County landmarks. One was in downtown Tampa at Julian B. Lane Park, next to University of Tampa. The former location of the dedicated Phillips Field along the banks of the Hillsborough River where, beginning in 1937, the University of Tampa played football games along with 3 other segregated Tampa high schools; Middleton, Jefferson and Blake. The NFL in the 1960’s also had football games played at this stadium. There were also many statewide marching band competitions.
The second special dedication marker was presented to the Bealsville Community south of Plant City. This was the first settlement of freed slaves in Florida in 1865. The 1866 Southern Homestead Act gave the freed emancipated slaves rights to property from help by former slaveholder, Sarah Howell. The town was originally called Howells Creek and changed in 1923 to Bealsville in recognition of Alfred Beal. It was a place to restart one’s life and make a new beginning. This is one of many great stories we live, recognize, and cherish.
If you have a historical location or know of a group that helped make Hillsborough County, contact the Hillsborough County Historical Advisory Council at the Fred Karl County Center Building.
People are Talking
There a rumors flying around about 3 new hotels coming to GaYBOR/Ybor area. According to several people, the land has already been purchased and negotiations for hotel flags are ongoing.
There will soon be a new late night hang out: The World Famous Laughing Cat Bistro will be staying open late on the weekends until 1 AM!
There are two not to be missed events coming next week. The Trailer Trash BINGO at Hamburger Mary’s next Wednesday, June 12. This is one of Mathieu’s Party Events. You just never know who will be there. Thursday, June 13th will be the Roosters of Ybor Auction. This event will take place at Bradley’s on 7th. This will be your chance to take a Rooster Home!!!
Have you noticed the renovations at Czar on 7th. New office tenants we hear!
Over at the Parliament House during Gay Days in Orlando special singing guest performer Erasure’s Andy Bell did an outdoor concert with 3 fabulous drag queen back up performers. And the summer begins with a whirlwind 12 city Midwest / West Coast Tour.
Judy B. Goode
A founding GaYBOR member, Miss Judy B. Goode is always the first to volunteer her time. Performing on both sides of the Tampa Bay, Judy is a popular goodwill ambassador. Become her facebook friend today. You don’t want to miss out on any of the fun.
Mark & Carrie Nephiew/Niece of the Week
OK this could be a little strange. What’s it mean when you call Mamma your Niece of the Week? LOL Whenever Mamma’s in the house there’s a party going on! Join her working 8 days a week at Bradley’s on 7th. Tell her Hi from the Uncles! wink wink ; )