A tradition originating in Cuba, lectors would sit on a tribunal and read a variety of materials, such as novels, political publications and local, national and global news, to the cigar workers busy at their stations. Lectors were hired and paid by…

“The Apostle of Cuban Independence” José Martí was born in Havana to Spanish immigrants in 1853. From a young age, he dedicated himself to the Cuban struggle for independence. During his life he visited Tampa 20 times, a place with strong ties to…

Tampa’s proximity to Cuba gave cigar workers the opportunity to make frequent returns to support their countrymen and the increasing revolt against Spain. On May 7, 1885, The Tampa Board of Trade was created to attract businessmen to the city. It…

The Port of Tampa has come to find worldwide recognition as an important port for commerce and trade. Yet, the Port of Tampa we know today is not the original Port of Tampa. The creation of the original Port Tampa can be traced back to the…

A group called The Friends of Plant Park works to restore and maintain the park that was once the grounds and gardens of the former Tampa Bay Hotel. For example, the remarkable De Soto Oak that stands just at the edge of Plant Park, close to…

Henry B. Plant was named the “King of Florida” in Success magazine in 1898 because of the growth and prosperity he brought to the state of Florida. The outbreak of the Civil War provided Plant with an opportunity to buy out the southern lines he…