Ybor City

Ybor City began as a cigar factory town in the 1880s. The town’s namesake, Vicente Martinez Ybor, purchased 40 acres of land east of Tampa and, with the help of the Tampa Board of Trade, established Ybor City in 1886.

Over the next five decades thousands of Cuban, Spanish and Italian immigrants came to Ybor City to work in the cigar industry. Several manufacturers set up operations and at its peak in the 1920s the cigar factories employed more than 12,000 workers.

Residences Ybor City (ca. 1885)

Residences Ybor City (ca. 1885)

Seventh Avenue (ca. 1908)

Seventh Avenue (ca. 1908)

Havana-American Cigar Company (ca. 1910)

Havana-American Cigar Company (ca. 1910)

Cigar production declined during the Great Depression. Labor strikes and increased automation led to the near collapse of the industry by the mid-20th century. Although nearly all of the cigar factories are gone, Ybor City entered a period of revival beginning in the late 1980s. The district is now home to lively nightlife, numerous restaurants and thriving businesses.

 

Interior of a cigar factory (ca. 1920)

Interior of a cigar factory (ca. 1920)

Ybor City street scene (ca. 1925)

Ybor City street scene (ca. 1925)

Cuesta Ray Cigar Company (1929)

Cuesta Ray Cigar Company (1929)

Found a great picture of Ybor City that we missed? Share it with us in the comments.

Resources for the Florida History Fair

Are you a teacher, librarian or student researching topics for the Florida History Fair? Find hundreds of historical photographs, documents, film and audio recordings related to this year’s theme.

History Fair Resources

Resources for the 2012-13 Florida History Fair links to primary and secondary source documents available online from the State Library and Archives of Florida. Primary resources from other institutions and key secondary resources are also identified in a newly expanded section.

Students involved in the History Fair become passionate about their research and interpreting history.

“Students have always told us how much they loved their National History Day experience and how it has changed their life, both in their academics and their careers. History not only teaches students about the stories of our past, but is vital to creating a generation of young people who can apply these lessons to the future.”
Cokie Roberts

I hope these resources will help you share the excitement of discovering history.

 

The Second Seminole War Diary of General Thomas Sidney Jesup

The Second Seminole War (1835-1842) was the longest and costliest American Indian War in American history. The conflict resulted in the removal of nearly 5,000 Seminoles and their African allies from the peninsula, and, in effect, brought central and southern Florida under the control of the United States for the first time. Several individuals attained national prominence through their involvement in the war. On the American side, perhaps no one received more criticism for the conduct of the campaign against the Seminoles than General Thomas Sidney Jesup.

Jesup diary

Thomas Sidney Jesup commanded military operations in Florida during the early stages of the Second Seminole War, although he is mostly remembered for capturing the Seminole warrior Osceola under a white flag of truce in October 1837. Osceola later died at Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. As a result of his treacherous capture and subsequent death, Osceola became a symbol of the broken treaties and brutal wars endured by Native American peoples in the 19th century.

Painting of Osceola by George Catlin (1837)

Painting of Osceola by George Catlin (1837)

The State Library and Archives of Florida has digitized and transcribed Jesup’s account of the Second Seminole War between October 1, 1836, and May 30, 1837. The Jesup diary provides insight into the daily movements of the U.S. Army, the nature of fighting during the war, and negotiations between Seminole and American military leaders.

Check out the Thomas Sidney Jesup diary, the latest addition to the Collections Page on Florida Memory, to learn more about the Seminole Wars.

Palatka, Main Street Community of the Month

Congratulations to Palatka, Main Street Community of the Month for September 2012! Learn more about the Florida Main Street Program.

Passengers aboard the Astatula (1890s)

Passengers aboard the Astatula (1890s)

Front Street and the Saratoga Hotel (ca. 1900)

Front Street and the Saratoga Hotel (ca. 1900)

Putnam House Hotel (ca. 1876)

Putnam House Hotel (ca. 1876)

Search the Florida Photographic Collection to see more images of Palatka and its residents.

From Centennial Field to Doak Campbell Stadium

In 1947, the Florida State College for Women (FSCW) became the coeducational Florida State University (FSU). When men enrolled in Tallahassee for the first time in over 40 years, plans emerged to field a football team as soon as possible.

Florida State University’s football team (1947)

Florida State University’s football team (1947)

Until 1950, FSU played its home football games at Centennial Field on South Monroe Street, near the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Dubbed the “Bleacher Bowl,” Centennial Field hosted baseball and high school football games prior the late 1940s.

Leon High School football game at Centennial Field (1920s)

Leon High School football game at Centennial Field (1920s)

In order to prepare Centennial Field for college football, the City of Tallahassee pledged $14,000 to purchase 3,000 portable bleachers. The price of admission during FSU’s inaugural season: $2.40 for reserved seating; $1.80 for general admission. Fans could opt to purchase season tickets at a cost of $7.20.

Softball game between the Governor's staff and Legislative staff at Centennial Field: Tallahassee, Florida (1968)

Softball game between the Governor’s staff and Legislative staff at Centennial Field: Tallahassee, Florida (1968)

After FSU moved to Doak Campbell, Centennial Field hosted occasional sporting events. The photo above shows action from a softball game between the Governor’s staff and the Legislative staff in 1968.

FSU played its first game at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 8, 1950.

Doak Campbell Stadium during dedication football game (1950)

Doak Campbell Stadium during dedication football game (1950)

The former site of Centennial Field is currently being developed by the City of Tallahassee, and will become part of Cascades Park.

Construction at Centennial Field at Cascades Park (2011)

Construction at Centennial Field at Cascades Park (2011)

Koreshan Unity, by Beth and Bethanie (Part Five)

The Koreshan Unity Collection: An Inside Look into Processing a Large Archival Collection (Part Five)

Our first few posts have mostly focused on the Koreshan Unity collection as a whole. But now that we have an initial sort of the boxes, we’d like to talk about processing efforts at the box level. Here’s where archivists really get their hands dirty – often literally!

As discussed in previous posts, with the general absence of original order or any obvious organizational scheme, each box proves to be different from the last. Even after we completed our initial sort of the boxes, we knew that we had an enormous arrangement challenge in front of us. However, we had no idea of the extent of the problem until we started closely examining the contents of each box. Typically the records had been placed in envelopes of various sizes. Many of the envelopes bear handwritten content listings and an alpha-numeric code, a remnant of one of many rearrangements imposed upon the collection since its birth in the late 19th century.

Here is an example:

However, due to continued handling and rearranging of the records, the individual items we found inside each envelope often bore no relation to each other or to the envelope’s content listing.

Administrative records tend to have a standardized form with their context readily available and are more easily identified and arranged despite their initial disorder. This owes to their main function of documenting the daily operations of the Unity, quite often for financial and legal purposes. For example, the box pictured below houses financial records that were relatively easy for us to identify and organize once we removed them from the envelopes or other enclosures in which they had been stored.

On the other hand, tackling a poorly organized box of correspondence or personal records proves much more challenging when properly identifying and arranging the records relies on a context that is not readily discernible. More about this soon!

Labor Day Hurricane (1935)

On September 2, 1935, a powerful hurricane made landfall in the Florida Keys. The storm was responsible for at least 485 deaths and an estimated $6 million in property damage. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the United States in recorded history.

Today, we remember those who lost their lives during this terrible storm.

Rescue train swept off the tracks by the 1935 Labor Day hurricane

Rescue train swept off the tracks by the 1935 Labor Day hurricane

Monument to the victims of the 1935 hurricane: Islamorada, Florida Keys

Monument to the victims of the 1935 hurricane: Islamorada, Florida Keys