YBOR CITY MUSEUM STATE PARK
Don Vicente Martinez Ybor came to the frontier near Tampa and built a city that became the "Cigar Capital of the World." From the opening of the first cigar factory in 1886 until the 1930s, Ybor City flourished. This urban park is dedicated to the preservation of Ybor City's unique cultural heritage. The museum, housed in the historic Ferlita Bakery, traces the rich cultural history of Ybor City and the cigar making industry. The museum has self-guided exhibits, with written and audio information, and a video presentation. La Casita, a restored cigar worker's house, is open for viewing 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Guided tours are available Monday through Saturday. The ornamental garden can be rented for events after regular park hours. Located at the corner of 9th Avenue and 19th Street in Tampa.
The Ybor City Museum State Park is open daily from 9am - 5pm. We are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
From the opening of the first factory in 1886 until the 1930?s, Ybor City was a flourishing Latin community. The Ybor Cigar Factory was the largest in the world, employing more than 4,000 of the 20,000 workers in Ybor City. Spaniards, Italians, Germans, Jews, Cubans, and Afro-Cubans called Ybor City home, establishing their own newspapers, restaurants, social clubs, mutual aid societies and hospitals. These immigrant medical services are among the earliest known examples of cooperative social medicine in the United States.
In the closing years of the 1800?s, Ybor City became a support center for the Cuban Revolution. When war broke out between the United States and Spain in 1898, the Army stationed thousands of men in Ybor City, including Teddy Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders." On August 12, 1898, Cuba won its independence.
Ybor City?s Latin community flourished for many years, but technology began to eat away at its very core. Competition from machines, popularity of cigarettes and the Depression combined to bring about the decline of the cigar industry in Ybor City. Factories shut down, unemployment soared and families moved away.