West Tampa Factory & History Time-line

1906 - 1910

...Estos fueron años de planeo para la ciudad del señor Hugh MacFarlane, para entonces el àrea se expandiò con màs parcelas de terreno. Durante este tiempo el area fuè medida y dividida por segunda vez con màs lotes. Tambien manufactureros fueron estimulados a relocalizarce a la nueva West Tampa con facilidades y terrenos pràcticamente gratis. Tambien fuè el momento para crear la infraestructùra de la ciudad...

Oprima las diferentes fechas para ver............

Sello de West Tampa 1895 - 1925


Francisco Milian
1906 - This was a year that brought a number of new cigar operations to the city of West Tampa, with Hon. Francico Milian as city mayor.

April 19, 1906 - Today during the City Council meeting a motion was aproved for a budget to purchase uniforms for the firemen, and a new fire wagon.

Friday April 20, 1906 - Thomas Englehart Co. #43 open a cigar manufacturing operation at St. Fracis Ave. (Nassau) with more than 100 workers plied their craft. The firm enjoyed a great success for many years, but closed in 1913.

  • Also today started operations David C. Fountain Cigar Co. #49 in a building located at #150 North Boulevard and with 35 workers.
Monday May 14, 1906 - The Charles Jacobs Co. open operations (unknown location). After three years the firm closed its doors.
Monday May 21, 1906 - Y.C. Madad Cigar, Co. opened operations at #54 19th (Rome) Avenue.

Monday June 4, 1906 - David D. Fountain Cigar, Co. opened at 150 10th (N. Boulevard).

  • Monday June 17, 1906 - Erlich Cigar, Co. moved to West Tampa and started manufacturing today.
TuesdayJuly 10, 1906 - Jose Silva Cigar, Co. open in a new building on the corner of Albany Ave. and St. John and started manufacturing today.
Monday July 30, 1906 - La Malga Cigar Company started operations at 214 Howard Avenue.
Tuesday August 7, 1906 - La Reina Cigar, Co. of Chicago relocated and started manufacturing operations of their most popular brand "USA-CUBA".
Monday October 8, 1906 - Salvador Rico & Co. started operations and also the same day Silva Cigar, Co. started manufacturing in West Tampa with 100 workres to a building located at the corner of Albany Avenue & St. John Street. This was the last company that started in the year.
1907 - Tremendous growth of the cigar industry that produced properity for a number of associated business. Specailly to the steamship, which plied the routes between Port Tampa, Key West & Havana, Cuba with daily trips. Average price of a house is $400.00 in West Tampa. Main Street was brick paved eastward toward Tampa. During this year a major paving project was undergoing in West Tampa.

Thursday February 7, 1907 - Mr. John Drew filed a plat for his land north of Michigan Avenue, Matanzas Street on the west, Armina Avenue on the east and Tampa Bay Blvd. by the north.

  • Today during the meeting the West Tampa City Council it was established a motion for the creation of the Street Sanitation Department with a budget for salaries and equipment; which was aproved.
Sunday March 10, 1907 - A devastating fire blaze a number of homes and buildings damaging the F. Garcia Cigar Factory. The new fire department was able to contained before it spread to other areas.

Monday April 15, 1907 - A.L. Cuesta donated $20,000.00 dollars for the construction of a public school. In a parcel lot located at Tampania Avenue.

Tuesday April 16, 1907 - A. Ramirez & Co., open in a small building at LaSalle Street and 17th Avenue, and started manufacturing today.

Wednesday August 14, 1907 - Celestino Vega Company open at the corner of Armina Avenue and Cordelia Street. With their premier brand "La Venga". The firm was immediatly succesful. Ramon Alvarez was the manager. The company closed in 1930 due to the ravages of the "Great Depresion".

  • Also today Mr. John H. Drew sold 4 1/2 blocks to the group "Los Cien" (a mutual society of workers from Asturias, Spain).

Monday September 9, 1907 - Russell Davis & Co. relocated their operation to a building at the corner of Michigan Drive (Columbus Drive) and Francis Avenue .

  • Thursday September 12, 1907 - Garcia & Vega Cigar Co. started operations in West Tampa destine to become one of the most important cigar manufacturers in the area. The company was located in a building at Armina Avenue and Alvaro (Kathleen) Street. It was the dream of thre ambitious men, all from Asturias, Spain. Mr. Alvaro Garcia Longo, Jose Vega and Pantaleon F. Carcaba.
Monday November 11, 1907 - Five medium size companies started operations the same day and they were, El Merino Cigar Co. located at #124 Delaware and Spruce Street; Vicente Mortellano Cigar, Co. located at #226 North Boulevard ; F.A. Marti & Co. #276 North Howard Avenue; Blanco, & Cabello Cigar, Co. located at 1101 9th Street (Garcia St.) Siber Cigar Co. (unknown address location) .
1908 - While the rest of the country experienced hard times and economic panic, West Tampa appered to be impervious to the tugs and pulls of the market place. The city had seven miles of paved streets, and eight more of paving in the works. Utilities poles lined the streets, supplying power for factories, homes, and the streetcars. Four new cigar manufacturers joined the growing number of firms in West Tampa. Hon. Francisco Milian is the Major of West Tampa.
Monday February 17, 1908 - Andres Diaz & Co. moved from New York to their new building located in Havana Avenue and Alvaro (Kathleen) Street. They produced the popular brand "Terreno, La Flor de Andres Diaz, and La Flor de Scott" . (They started regular production on May 18, 1908, after a few months of aconditioning the facility.)

Monday March 23, 1908 - Calixto Lopez Cigar, Co. one of the most prestigious cigar manufacturers of the time, relocated from New York to a building located at the corner of Abdela and Gomez Street. Just at the very end of the streetcar line.

Thursday March 26, 1908 - Today the West Tampa City Council vote and approved a motion presented a few months ago. The construction of a city park (Mc Farlane Park) in the location of the present West Tampa Golf Park. Also was approved the change of the name of the present Roosevelt Blvd. to McFarlane Blvd. The construction will start in a few months. Tampa Tribune Morning Edition

Monday May 18, 1908 - Angelo Alvarez & Co. opened operations at the corner of Armina Avenue and Cherry Street. This was an small operation (buckeye) with only 18 workers.
Monday September 21, 1908 - Frank Spano Cigar, Co. started operation in a building located at 377 St. Conrad Street. This was a medium size operation with 50 workers.
1909 - This year six new companies joined the West Tampa bussiness community. Hon. Peregrino Rey is the West Tampa City Mayor.
Wednesday March 10 , 1909 - Y. Pendas & Alvarez & Co. started operations (2301 Albany Street). This firm was credited with being the first company in the United States to manucature "Clear Havana" cigar exclusively.

Friday April 9 , 1909 - Santos Buzaglo & Co. started and also bought the old Garcia Cigar Factory.

  • Saturday, April 10, 1909 - West Tampa Councilman, Giuseppe Ficarrotta was gunned down as he arrived home around 8 o'clock in the evening. The funeral was held the day after the murder on Easter Sunday and was reported in the newspaper as the largest the city had ever seen. The family had always claimed the murder was the result of an attempted extortion for money.  Giuseppe Ficarrotta was described as a wealthy wholesale and grocery owner and served as a member of the West Tampa City Council.  There was a possible connection to an earlier murder of B. LaBella.  The accused murderer of that case was Orniferio Chiarmante, who was believed to have gone to Giuseppe Ficarrotta for money to defend him or bribe officials which he was refused, so assassination was arranged.

Tuesday April 20, 1909 - J.W. Roberts & Son Co. purchased the former Ellinger factory, and started operations with over 100 workers.

  • Monday April 26, 1909 - Today the City of West Tampa dedicated the MacFarlane Park Pavillion. Center of social life, incluiding dances and picnics.
Monday June 21, 1909 - Salvador Sanchez & Co. began manufacturing operation in the old El Arte factory located at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Green Street. Later the firm closed during the general strike of 1920's.
Tuesday July 13, 1909 - El Provedo Cigar, Co. #138 re-located to West Tampa from Philadelphia, the company employed over 200 workers in a building located at Frances Ave. and State Street. The company closed during the general strike of 1910.
  • Tuesday July 20, 1909 - Lòpez Hermanos Cigar, Co. moved to the N.E. corner of Gomez & Abdella.
1910 - During this year only two companies started operations in West Tampa, the economy was greatly affected and labor unrest marked the year. West Tampa, with a population of over 10,000 people, is Florida's 5th largest city. The average salary in Tampa is $18.00 a month, and the President of the United States is William H. Taft.
February 11, 1910 - P.G. Fernandez started operations of cigar manufacturing in a three story frame building located at the corner of North Boulevard and Chestnut Street. Their main brand was "Victor Hugo", and they employed 75 workers.
Thursday March 3, 1910 - The Boltz & Clymer Cigar Co. started operation in a small building at the corner of Tampania Avenue and Union Street. The companies main brands are "El Pallencia, El Merito, Flor de Americano and Enterprise". They were the first cigar company to ship cigars by air line from Tampa to St. Petersburgh.
Monday June 6, 1910 - a labor strike is declared and the cigar workers left their workbenches idle in all the factories. Violence by both sides owners and workers marked the six months strike. The second part of the year is greatly affected, people got kill, buildings were burned and the general economy is impacted. Many companies decided to relocate from West Tampa to other markets. The symbiotic relation taht governed the cigar industry is gone. (Click here to see more..)

Friday December 16, 1910 - Today both sides started negotiations in order to finalized the general strike.

  • Friday December 30, 1910 - After two weeks no agreements has being reached by the sides involved in the negotiations to end the general strike. Tampa Tribune - December 30, 1910.


Reference: Tampa Tribune Archives, University of South Florida Archives, Tobacco Journal, Hillsborough County Public Records.- B.A.T.F. License Records Archives -"Cuidad Cigars" by Armando Mendez - Resercher: W. Reyes, Ph.D.

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Antonio Murias & Co. - ca.1906
Flor de Alvarez - Label 1907's
Tampa Cigar Co. - Label
Andres Diaz & Co. - 1908
Peregrino Rey
Giuseppe Ficarrotta
Fernandez La Rosa & Co. - 1909
Cuesta Rey Cigar Co.