'Fernando's Footsteps': Sanchez y Haya Cigar Factory

Fernando and Ignacio spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and getting Fernando oriented to his new home. Zapato was the anxious tour guide. On Sunday they took the short streetcar ride to "downtown Tampa". Fernando remained fascinated by the Tampa Bay Hotel and envied the wealthy tourists and winter residents that paraded around the hotel grounds in the latest fashions. Ignacio explained that even though downtown Tampa was only a few miles from Ybor City, the cultural differences were vast. Ybor City was part of the City of Tampa, but everyone in Tampa referred to them as if they were separate towns, and in essence they were.

On the return from downtown, they got off the trolley at the corner of 14th St and 7th Ave. On the south side of La Séptima, taking up the whole block up to 15th St, was a large wooden building. As they approached it, Ignacio stopped and pointed to it.

"Mira, Gaitero. Aquí es done trabajo, y con buena suerte, trabajarás allí también. Esta es la fábrica de puros de Sanchez y Haya."

Ignacio told Fernando that this was the Sánchez and Haya cigar factory where he worked, and with good luck, he will work there as well.

Fernando was impressed by how large the factory was. Ignacio went on to explain that all the factories had very large rectangular windows and were oriented on an east-west axis. This design maximized the amount of light entering, while preventing the rising or setting sun from blinding the workers as they rolled cigars all day. Seeing the factory made Fernando all the more anxious and curious about his interview the next morning. (Tony Carreño, Chapter 16)



Corner of 14th St and 7th Ave. South