Cigar City Magazine Jul-Aug 2006

Page 1


The Law Office Of

Dennis A. Lopez, P.A. Proudly Salutes Tampa’s Cigar Heritage “For four generations my family has proudly called Tampa our home. My ancestors came seeking new opportunities which the cigar industry offered. They stayed for the wonderful quality of life which Tampa provided to them. If you or your loved ones’ quality of life has been taken away, call us. We’re here to help.” -Dennis A. Lopez

Dennis A. Lopez, P.A. AT T O R N E Y A N D C O U N S E L O R AT L A W


813.223.1977 • Representation For Serious Injury and Death Cases Due To Negligence, Malpractice, or Other Wrongful Acts. • Insurance Disputes.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask the lawyer to send you free written information about their qualifications and experience.






The opinions of writers commissioned for articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. All advertising is subject to approval before acceptance. Publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertisement for any reason whatsoever. Publisher assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. A self-addressed, postage paid envelope for return must accompany manuscripts, photographs, and other materials submitted. Cigar City Magazine is not responsible for loss, damage, or any other injury to unsolicited originals unless specifically requested to do so by Cigar City Magazine in writing. You can write to us at Cigar City Magazine, P.O. Box 18613, Tampa, Florida 33679 or via email at All letters, emails and their contents sent to Cigar City Magazine become the sole property of the publisher and may be used and published in any manner whatsoever without limit and without obligation or liability to the author thereof. To request home delivery, check out our website at














Cuban Bread Tampa Style


El Lector: Idle Days and Hungry Nights


A Ride with E.J.


36 46

A Shrimp in the Jaws of Progress

José Ramón Sanfeliz: Cigar Maker & Photographer Molded in Tampa



Not So Trivial


Lost Landmarks

52 54

The Kitchen

Mama Knows

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(813) 358-3455



Dear Cigar City Magazine Your magazine is absolutely marvelous! Some friends here in Blairsville that are from Tampa as we are, showed us a copy. I was born and raised in Tampa at 1010-10th Ave in 1932! The reason I'm writing is to tell you about my Grandfather, Salvatore C. Reina, owner and founder of Sevilla Olive Packing, Company Inc. He hails from Santo Stefano as do most of the Italians in the Tampa area. He started out as a peddler with horse and carriage selling groceries and produce in Ybor city. -Sam E. Reina Dear Cigar City Magazine Received your wonderful magazine. It was great. Your magazine gives us much information and it is well done. The story on the child labor was heart wrenching. You do a beautiful job. Wish you good luck getting it out. I know it is a daunting task. -Luisita Pacheco To Cigar City Magazine I saw a copy of the current magazine with the article "The Lost City" and think the magazine in totality is wonderful‌Many thanks for such an INSPIRING magazine. I will help you spread the word about your magazine and get you more subscribers. That's how the word is spreading!...Don't they say that "word of mouth" is the best advertisement? Thanks again. -Richard Davison



Dear Cigar City Magazine I just wanted to say I like your magazine. I have just emailed you to ask for some copies for my new cigar store. It's called Cigarista and is across the bay at Redington Shores Beach. I noticed that all your current distribution points seem to be in Tampa proper so I'd like to help you expand that. I think we might be able to spread some of the Ybor City/Tampa cigar culture over here to both locals and tourists who might then make the trip over to visit and learn something of the history and culture. I wish you much luck and I'll continue to read your magazine. Thank you. -Mike Smith Cigarista, The 'C' Spot At The Beach 727-393-6700 To Cigar City Magazine I'm enjoying your magazine. It's obvious you all have worked very hard on this project. The photos are great and the stories are interesting. I love reading all that old stuff about Ybor City. My mother used to take us shopping to Little Katz and my father loved Las Novedades - we'd eat there occasionally‌We all loved the Silver Ring sandwiches. I remember going in there with Daddy. Great memories! Thanks. -Kathy Hudson

Brighter • Smarter • Faster

Fueling Tampa’s Growth Since 1931.

T HE R ADIANT G ROUP, LLC 1320 E. 9th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605 (813) 247-4731



MARILYN ESPERANTE FIGUEREDO| EDITOR@CIGARCITYMAGAZINE.COM he hot days of summer are upon us, so I imagine you are proba-

bly spending lots of time inside with the AC turned up full blast.

Or perhaps you have headed out to the beach to take a cool

swim and relax in your folding chair. Both are perfect places to read a

copy of Cigar City Magazine. Above: Photograph is from one of our featured stories on José Ramón Sanfelíz

This is our fifth issue and it is filled with stories we know you will

enjoy reading. Writer Gail Ellis will intrigue you once again as she takes you back in time with another story from El Lector. This one focuses on

the violent cigar workers’ strike of 1910.

You will also read about José Ramón Sanfelíz, a “jack of all trades”

and aspiring photographer who captured life in Tampa in 1899 through the lens of his camera. His photo journal is preserved at the University of

South Florida’s Special Collections Library. We share his story and some of the photographs he took during these early days.

Interesting stories on cigar molds, the famous Seabreeze Restaurant,

The Honorable E.J. Salcines and delicious Cuban bread will offer you a

lighter read. And if you get hungry as you read these stories, check out another great recipe in Cigar City Magazine’s “The Kitchen,” especially if you love Italian food.

On a final note, we continue to receive letters, phone calls and

emails from our readers asking, “Who is Mama?” The answer is simple –

Mama is Mama and she will share her infinite wisdom with you each and every issue–that is IF you are interested in learning.

We want to thank all of you for reading our magazine and for all the

great support we have received. Some of you have told us you have had difficulty finding our magazine at our distribution locations. Well we love

to hear that, but we also understand your frustration. You might want to

fill out our home delivery card in this issue and we’ll deliver the next six issues right to your doorstep. Have a Cigar City Day! Marilyn Esperante Figueredo



Rediscover. Remember. Relive.

The “Goody-Goody”

One of my favorite memories is going with my parents to eat at the Goody-Goody Restaurant on Florida Avenue. We would pull up under the outside awning until the waitress came up to take our order. I always ordered a hamburger with their secret sauce, French fries, a coke and a slice of butterscotch pie for dessert. Some times if I was real hungry I would order the chili. How can that place be gone? I miss the food, the friendly waitresses and the ambiance! I will never forget the Goody-Goody! - Mary Copeland

Does Anyone Remember The Salt Water Taffy man?

He would make homemade salt water Taffy and put the candy in these little wax paper bags. He would stand outside the Park Theatre across the street from the University of Tampa and sell them to people as they went to see a movie. Or should I say “movies”–in those days your admission included a double feature, cartoons and a news reel of current events–remember? - John Fernandez

Robert City Dreaming

Between the deep depression And the end of the great war Lived a hood called Robert City Now gone forever, oh what a pity. One mile long and three blocks wide With only the river on one side. Life was sweet with little care With love enough for all to share. Most families living side by side To meet their needs they had to stride Being poor hurt no one’s pride To all in need doors open wide. Years have passed and times have changed But in my soul there still remains A dream of going back some day For just a while, but not to stay.

- By Orlando Salinero Our Mar/Apr issue featured a story on Roberts City.



bought a few loaves to make the special treat I had been raving about. Finally, I was able to introduce the Cuban sandwich to a lot of Georgia crackers and they were pleased. So, enamored with the bread, the story of La Segunda bakery interested me as well. One day recently I sat down to talk to Raymond Moré who, with his cousin Anthony Moré, owns the bakery. While other bakeries in Tampa make fine Cuban bread, the Moré recipe came to Tampa from Cuba when his grandfather Juan Moré brought it with him after the turn of the 20th century.


Cuban bread cooling




ike many people in Tampa, I have taken for granted the fact that I can get a great loaf of La Segunda’s Cuban bread just about anywhere in town. I certainly have eaten my share of it over the years - on the famous “Cuban sandwich,” accompanying a plate of black beans and rice, toasted with a little white cheese in the morning, or with a cup of café con leche. If you buy enough to have leftovers, it also makes a wonderful bread pudding. Many years ago, naively unaware that real Cuban bread couldn’t be found all over our fair land, I looked everywhere in Atlanta to no avail. I wanted to make Cuban sandwiches for our annual family birthday party. It didn’t happen. Just before taking a flight to Atlanta for the annual party the following year, I 16


uan Moré was born in Catalonia, Spain, but went to Cuba when he was conscripted to fight for Spain during the Spanish American War. After Cuba won their freedom, Juan and other soldiers were left behind by the withdrawing Spanish forces. In Cuba, Juan found a special bread eaten by everyone with every meal. Originally made into a round loaf, the bakers developed it into a long loaf during the war that could be rationed easily for the soldiers. After the war Juan left Cuba and found a new home in Ybor City. The special recipe he brought with him sparked a tradition for the bread that is now special to Tampa and for a sandwich worthy of annual contests and national recognition. On September 28, 1915, Juan opened the doors of his bakery, La Primera (the first), on 8th Avenue. The original bakery burned down and La Segunda (the second) Central was built of red brick on 15th street approximately under the route of I-4 today. Needless to say, they had to move again in 1961 when urban renewal condemned their building. They’ve been in their current location, 2512 15th Street, Ybor City, ever since.


roperly baked, Cuban bread is crispy on the outside and soft inside. As Raymond Moré explained, that can be accomplished only when the bread is baked directly on a hearth. Similar breads such as French bread have small slits cut in the top of the loaf to allow steam and gases to escape as the yeast bread rises and is baked. A different type of Cuban bread is made in Miami. Their loaves have slits in the top and are baked in pans, creating more of a soft roll suitable for submarine sandwiches. In addition to hearth baking, the Cuban bread we know in Tampa is superior for another reason. Ours is the bread with the “grass in it.” The grass is actually a piece of frond of the palmetto plant. Yes, I’m talking about the scrubby little bushes that look like palms that never grew up. You see them along the roadsides everywhere in Florida. The needle sharp fronds are stripped from the scrub palmetto by workers in the fields just as it was done at the beginning of the 20th century. The fronds are cut in strips, cleaned, washed and left to soak in fresh water.




osé Ramón Sanfeliz was born in

Havana, Cuba, on September 21,

1870, and by age ten was working in

a cigar factory. He found employment at the Hijos de Cabaña y Cajal Factory strip-

ping the stems from the tobacco leaves. Two years later he worked with his father

at La Concordia Sugar Mill and then, at

El Nuevo Mundo Cigar Factory. Sanfeliz

would later write, “I distinctly remember

this place as I received many beatings, many blows, and very poor food.” At age

twenty he decided to leave the revolution torn island and come to America.

University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department

age fourteen, began an apprenticeship at

S.P .Burgert and Sanfeliz 1900

University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department


Liceo Cubano 1898

nce in Tampa, Sanfeliz found employment at Lozano, Pendás and Company. The cigar industry in Ybor City was growing in 1890 and there was plenty of work for someone with his experience. In later years he worked in other factories such as Ramón Monet and Ybor-Manrara as well as for Pancho Arango at Seidenberg and Company who produced La Rosa Española cigars. But Sanfeliz held a variety of jobs throughout his life. In addition to cigar making, he worked as a clothing salesman, bartender, dishwasher, timekeeper, rent collector, laxative salesman and notary. He also was a bookkeeper at a racehorse track, worked in the shipyards, at a theatre, newspaper, and liquor warehouse–AND–he took photographs. In 1922, he created the photograph album today housed at the University of South Florida, Special Collections Library. This album consists of 35 black and white prints taken between 1897 and 1905 which profile life around Ybor City. According to a note in the album, commercial photographer Mr. S. P. Burgert–whose sons founded Burgert Brothers Photography–developed the photographs. Sanfeliz dedicated the album to his good friend D. B. McKay, mayor of 38


Tampa and publisher of the Tampa Daily Times. The Sanfeliz collection contains photographs of El Liceo Cubano. This popular political and social club founded by Cubans in 1886 was located in a wooden tobaccostripping house at 1226-7th Avenue, Ybor City. It was donated by Vicente Martínez Ybor. The political organization was known as the Caballeros de la Luz (Order of the Gentlemen of the Light), a cigar workers’ organization whose members sent money to Cuba to support the revolution. The El Liceo building became a part of history in November of 1886. José Martí, the Father of the Cuban Revolution, delivered two patriotic speeches there and drafted a resolution that became the program of the United Cuban Revolutionary Party. On the day Sanfeliz took his photographs, he did not take pictures of José Martí or of the most current debate on the revolution. He was there to take pictures of the children who attended Spanish School in one of the club’s lodge rooms. He titled his photograph Una Escuela Cubana (A Cuban School) and wrote, “In Key West and Tampa the Cubans paid a teacher of the Spanish language to teach their children the mother tongue.” In this photo-

University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department

Class in Spanish Language School at Liceo Cubano 1898

“Vamos a pescar jaibas” (let’s go to fish crabs) 1899

El Principe de Gales Factory 1902 (left to right) Eugenio Valdes (foreman) Pancho Arango (general manager) JosĂŠ Gonzalez (foreman) JosĂŠ Maseda (wrapper and selector)

Soup Kitchen 1899

graph taken in 1898, the children’s faces clearly reflect that having to sit still for so long was not their idea of a fun recess.


n 1899 Sanfeliz took an intriguing photograph of a group of striking cigar workers. They had organized a soup kitchen and, in the photograph, you see an ethnic mix of men and young boys sitting with soup ladles. Their faces reflect the frustration and hardships they endured at the time. The strike known as La Huelga de la Pesa (The Weight Strike) started in the Ybor-Manrara Cigar Factory. Factory owners were requiring cigar makers to use scales to weigh out the filler tobacco given to them at the beginning of the day. The skilled cigar makers were outraged and viewed the scales as an insult to their ability and a violation of custom. From April to August 1899, the strike caused great hardship to factory owners and the strikers. By July over 4,000 workers had left their benches. Thousands of them left Tampa to work in New York, Key West and Cuba. For those who stayed, soup kitchens were a way to help feed the workers and their families. Money was tight. Other striking workers would head down to Palmetto Beach to

catch crabs and fish for their evening supper. People did what they had to do to survive. After 98 days, the factory owners reluctantly agreed to eliminate the scales, giving the striking workers a complete victory. The scales stayed out of the factories and the cigar workers happily returned to work. Other strikes would follow in the coming years, but the weight strike was the only major strike Ybor’s cigar makers would win.


anfeliz went on to work for two local Spanish newspapers: the Prensa founded in Ybor City by Francisco de la Vallina and La Traducción (The Translation). As a Cuban patriot, raising money to fund the revolutionary forces in his homeland remained a priority for Sanfeliz. He was involved with two revolutionary clubs - The 24th of February Club and Los Vegadores de Maceo (Avengers of Maceo). Later in his career he became one of the founding members of Club Nacional Cubano (Cuban National Club), now known as the Cuban Club. José Ramón Sanfeliz died December 7, 1957, and is buried with his wife Carlota in Myrtle Hill Memorial Park in Tampa.

University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department

José Ramón Sanfeliz 1897



Other team members were: Alice Rodriguez, Josephine Tornero, Zenaida Wirth, Theresa Bernardo, Nelda Fernandez, Josephine Pendeno, Lynette Fernandez, Ceal Clark, Ruby Stephens, Bessie Busciglio, Kate Davis, Louise Lopez, Helen Peralta and Lorraine Weatherford.

Womens Softball

This photograph was taken between 1944-1946 of the McCloskey Girls Softball Team. They won the state championship in 1944 under the management of Leo Peralta. My mother, Aida Gonzalez, is pictured in the middle row, first from the left. - Nadine Weider

If you would like to remember someone important to you on the pages of Cigar City Magazine, please let us know by calling us at (813) 875-4929 or emailing us at Cost is dependent of the amount of space you would like to purchase.


NOT SO TRIVIAL In 1950, there were 124,681 people living in Tampa. A new house in Beach Park or Hyde Park could be purchased for a little over $10,000.

Avoid Costly Repairs With A Home Inspection! BUYERS • SELLERS • WARRANTY MOLD • RADON • THERMAL -IMAGING

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Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon, arrived in the Tampa Bay area in 1513. In 1914, Percival Ellicott Fansler introduced the world’s first scheduled commercial airline service with the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line. Tony Jannus piloted the airline’s Benoist “flying boat.” In 1835, Chief Osceola killed Indian agent Wiley Thompson. This same year Major Francis Dade and his troops were ambushed by 300 Seminole warriors near Fort King (Ocala, Florida). As a result, the Second Seminole War began.

(813) 928-4346

~ Hablamos Espanol

Tampa’s first electric streetcar lines were built in 1892 and rushed workers downtown and to the cigar factories of West Tampa. Streetcars reached their peak of popularity in the 1920s with 24 million passengers riding in 1926. The 2000 Census showed there were 22,008 people living in West Tampa – 9,277 households and 9,908 housing units. Hyde Park was Tampa’s first western suburb, stretching southward from the mouth of the Hillsborough River down the east side of the Interbay Peninsula. In 1886 O.H. Platt of Hyde Park, Illinois, purchased the Robert Jackson farm on the south side of the river in anticipation of a bridge. Two years later railroad baron, Henry B. Plant constructed his Tampa Bay Hotel (today’s University of Tampa), and the bridge was built.




With My family

Crabbing for Blue Crabs was a traditional outing in my family. We would all head out to the Causeway at night when the tide was low and the moon was full. The men and teenage boys would wade into the water armed with lanterns, a crab net and an aluminum tub tied around their waist. The women and children would stay on shore and await their return. As they walked they would scoop up as many crabs as they could.

Manuel Pereira Esperante in his Spanish Naval uniform during The Spanish-American War

Manuel Esperante Pereira

cleaned. b ready to be a cr a g in tt elgado ge back. her Hilda D is pictured in ez qu ri en My grandmot H ena ndmother N My great gra

The evening’s catch would be brought home and the next day a delicious pot of spicy red tomato sauce was made and then the cleaned crabs would be placed in the sauce to cook. When done, the entire family would sit at tables outside and enjoy this delicious dish with lots of Cuban bread. - Lisa M. Figueredo

My grandfather was Don Manuel Esperante Pereira. A First Class Navigator (Maquinista) in the Spanish Navy during the Spanish-American War. He was born in El Ferrol, Spain on December 9, 1877. This is a picture of him dressed in his full military dress and was taken while serving in the Philippines. -Alice Esperante Russo Manuel Esperante Pereira is also the great great grandfather of founder & publisher Lisa Figueredo and geat neice to Alice Esperante Russo.

If you would like to remember someone important to you on the pages of Cigar City Magazine, please let us know by calling us at (813) 358-3455 or emailing us at Cost is dependent of the amount of space you would like to purchase.

Molded in



n the early 1940s, Justo Fulgueira was working as a cigar maker in an Ybor City factory

when a shortage of cigar molds inspired him to design a very special machine. He

would eventually become a “master mold maker” and his reputation would be known


Hand Rolling

exactly that and to suggest a mold be used was an insult! Before molds and machines, cigars were made entirely by The strike lasted 45 days and, after extensive negotiations, the “Spanish Hand” method. The only tools a cigar maker needcigar makers reluctantly agreed to use molds and returned to ed to perform his trade were a table, a hardwood board and a work. Factory owners were elated. They loved the shorter time it sharp chaveta. It was all about skill, technique and devotion to would take to train new cigar makers thereby increasing producthe art of cigar making. tion and reducing costs. As an added benefit, a cigar maker When the cigar factories opened each morning, workers rolling by hand would average only 200 cigars a day but using a received their allotment of tobacco and paper (similar to the mold could produce over 400 cigars. brown paper we now use to bag groceries). The cigar maker With the use of molds, a would select his tobacco filler division of labor occurred. A leaves, press them together in “bunch maker” made the his hand to form the bunch, bunch then placed the cigars and place it in a “binder” leaf in the grooves of the mold. (a leaf that is flat and someThe grooves were smaller in what elastic). Next, he would diameter than the unfinished roll and form the cigar, wrapcigar so the tobacco would ping the triangular piece of compress to form the cigar. paper tightly around the The upper half of the mold binder. The cigars would be was attached and the two set aside for up to one hour pieces of joined wood were before the paper was removed placed into a screw press. and the wrapper applied. The Cigars would remain in the problems cigar factory owners mold for approximately an had with rolling cigars in this hour. The “cigar maker” would manner was the inconsistency then be responsible for applyin the sizes of the cigars and ing the wrapper and finishing in the ring gauge. the cigar. It is believed the first Justo Fulgueira Once molds became commolds were invented around monplace, the “Spanish Hand” method disappeared. In time, 1850 in Germany. Molds immediately made the job of cigar machines were introduced which revolutionized the cigar indusrolling much easier. Apprentices were able to roll cigars with try. Old timers will tell you it was the demise of an ancient art. only a year’s worth of training instead of the traditional 3 to 5 Today, the few independent cigar makers who operate small years. businesses in Tampa roll by hand. Strangely, it has become acceptable to use the phrase “hand-rolled” when referring to The Strike of 1907 cigars formed by hand but placed in a mold. The great cigar makers of the past are surely rolling over in their graves at the very The arrival of cigar molds in Tampa was met with great resistthought! ance. In 1907 cigar makers went on strike when factory owners insisted molds be used. To the cigar artisan, “hand rolled” meant JULY - AUGUST 2006


Justo Fulgueira

Gonzalo Fulgueira

Justo Fulgueira and his wife Angelin a

Tampa Tribune article

The Birth of the Justo Fulgueira Mold

Before World War II plenty of molds were available. However, once war was declared there was a shortage of materials, including wood. In 1941, the Ohio company who manufactured cigar molds began instead to produce war materials for the government. This created a serious problem for the cigar factories when their molds broke and replacements could not be found. Justo Fulgueira was working at Tampa’s Corral-Wodiska Cigar Factory during this time. He had immigrated to this cigarmaking town in 1916 at the young age of eighteen. He was born in Lugo, Spain but wanted to come to America and decided Ybor City would be a good place to live and work. He married, and he and his wife Angelina Martinez-Alvarez purchased a small but comfortable house on 26th Avenue close to the many cigar factories. Justo worked hard at his job at the factory and earned extra money by repairing cigar molds. Eventually repairing molds became a full time job and he left Corral-Wodiska. As he worked out of the small garage behind his home, he started thinking about ways he could make his own molds. He was not a carpenter or a machinist, but he knew how they should be designed. Justo planned a trip to the small island of Cuba. He knew machines were being used to cut molds and he wanted to learn more about their design. He visited several factories during his stay to study the mold making machines. Returning home, he went to machine shops around Tampa to price parts and purchase individual pieces. He intentionally did not purchase from just one shop - he wanted to protect his idea. What he was doing had to remain a secret! Justo continued to repair molds and worked on his invention in his spare time. After many years of designing and building, his machine was finally ready and in 1958 the first Justo Fulgueira mold was made! Production began and Justo was determined his molds would be the finest made. He knew from years of making repairs it was important that quality hardwood be used so the molds would standup to the pressure of the powerful screw presses. The mold was constructed of two parts – the top and the bottom. Both parts had 10 slots for cigars and fit perfectly when placed together. Round wood pegs were inserted to hold the two parts tightly. Business took off quickly and factories in Tampa were happy to have a local manufacturer of cigar molds. Justo’s reputation grew and before long he was not only shipping to factories across the United States, but also to other countries. He JULY - AUGUST 2006


kept his prized machine under lock and key and sound proofed the room so the loud sawing and cutting of the wood would not disturb neighbors. When buyers or cigar makers came to visit they were not allowed to see the machine. Even family members were kept away. Glenn Fulgueira, Justo’s grandson, said he remembers how secretive his grandfather was about his invention - the garage was a forbidden place even for him! Justo’s wife, Angelina, and his daughter Hilda helped him in the business. Hilda was a schoolteacher by day and handled the bookkeeping for the business in the evening. His son Gonzalo worked at the same factory where his father had worked, and helped in the business part time. In a 1971 interview with the Tampa Tribune, Justo said he was backlogged with many orders coming from Spain, Nicaragua, Mexico as well as a number of other countries. A German manufacturer had stopped producing molds years earlier and, as a result, his molds were the only molds being made in the world.

Gonzalo Takes Over

Eventually, Justo decided to cut back on the hours he worked and wanted his son Gonzalo to take over the business. The job of making cigar molds was extremely physical. Gonzalo quit his job as a foreman at Corral-Wodiska Cigar Factory and became Tampa’s new “mold master.” His mother Angelina and his sister Hilda agreed to continue helping in the business and his father provided guidance and direction when needed. After he retired Justo Fulgueira had more time to spend with family and friends. He liked going to the Centro Asturiano clubhouse every day to play cards and drink café con leche with men

he had known for years. It was time for him to enjoy his life. Justo Fulgueira died in 1977 at the age of 79. He is remembered by his family as a man of high integrity who believed in making quality molds and charging a fair price. It was very important to him to meet his promised delivery dates to customers. He instilled these same qualities in his son Gonzalo who continued to run his father’s business until he died in 1998.

The Legacy Continues

The molds made by Justo Fulgueira continue to be used by cigar makers today. If you happen to see a wood mold in your travels, pick it up and see if you find Justo Fulgueira – Tampa, Florida stamped on the front. If you do, then you will be holding a piece of Tampa’s cigar history in your hands. Today, this successful business is run by Gonzalo’s daughter Vicky and her husband David Lay. They remain extremely busy taking orders from all over the world for both wood and plastic molds. Justo’s machine is not used much these days, replaced years ago by a factory made model - but don’t worry, his machine sits nearby and can still carve out a beautiful mold. Vicky said they still receive knocks on their door from time to time from cigar makers who only want one or two molds. They try their best not to turn anyone away and will crank up the old machine. Justo Fulgueira Molds is located at 1212 26th Avenue in Ybor City. Their telephone number is 813 242-4273.

1958 West Tampa Optimist Club Celebration of membership drive. Photograph from Henry Fontanills collection, Submitted by Julio Giovinco

If you would like to remember someone important to you on the pages of Cigar City Magazine, please let us know by calling us at (813) 358-3455 or emailing us at Cost is dependent of the amount of space you would like to purchase. JULY - AUGUST 2006


THE KITCHEN Pasta con le Vongole BY


My husband Alfio and I are both from Sicily where many dishes are prepared with vongole. We had dinner one night with my mother-in-law and she made Pasta con le Vongole which was delicious. I asked her to teach me how to prepare this special dish. Our family has enjoyed this recipe for many years, especially my children Emy and Angelo. The four of us now live in New York City and although we miss the clams fished from the waters surrounding Sicily, we have found the ones we buy in Chinatown to be quite good. So, be part of the famiglia and try our recipe! Ingredients: 2 pounds of fresh live clams* 3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 cup white wine Salt to taste Pinch of red pepper flakes - optional *Fresh clams should be tightly closed. Before steaming them, scrub them well and let them sit in salted water for at least an hour so they can purge themselves of sand. Preparation: In a large pot, slowly steam the fresh clams in water, making sure they all open. SautĂŠ olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the garlic! In another large pot, begin heating a generous amount of salted water for the pasta. Add steamed clams to the pan containing the garlic and olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of white wine to the mixture, and allow the wine to slowly evaporate. Add salt to taste. 52


If desired, sprinkle some red pepper flakes to the mixture. On low heat, allow everything to simmer while you prepare the pasta. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Pour the pasta into the skillet with all of the other ingredients. Gently stir everything together and let it simmer on low heat. Add some of the pasta water to the mixture if it seems dry. Pour everything in a plate and serve immediately!!!

Half the fun of eating Pasta con le Vongole is fishing out the shells and sucking the sauce off them. Buon appetito!



This beautiful building was designed in a Mediterranean Revival

architecture similar to that of the Tampa Bay Hotel (now the University of

Tampa). It was built in 1890 and was located downtown.

Recognize this lost landmark?

You can win a Cigar City Magazine t-shirt by correctly identifying this landmark. Simply mail the name of the structure and your contact information to Cigar City Magazine at P.O. Box 18613, Tampa, Florida 33679 by August 1, 2006. All correct entries will be entered into a drawing and one name will be selected as the winner. Good luck! Previous Lost Landmark: The Old Fort Restaurant

Charlie Gregory’s Old Fort Restaurant and Lounge stood on the corner of South Franklin Street for nearly 40 years. Back in the late 1930s and 1940s the Old Fort was a gathering place for the gambling elite of Tampa, who could be found at the site during the wee morning hours. Liquor and dinner was served at 2 and 3 a.m. The building was built by Rañón and Jimenez General Contractors. Congratulations to Dr. Roland J. Alvarez of Tampa, Florida who correctly identified the Landmark and won a Cigar City Magazine






Dear Mama My girlfriend took me to visit her grandmother for the first time. When we arrived at her house I was amazed to see all her furniture covered in plastic including the lamps. My girlfriend seemed perfectly comfortable in this environment, so I never asked what the plastic was all about. Do you know? -Sticky Buns Dear Sticky Buns You are probably too young to know much about the Great Depression, but know that it had a great impact on those that lived through this terrible time. People learned to hold on to things and make them last as long as they could and plastic kept furniture looking like new! But consider yourself lucky you were able to leave!! Many years ago, my cousin Tony who lived alone, was stuck to his couch for three days! When the family found



him, he was hungry and dirty. Good thing the couch was covered in plastic! -Mama Dear Mama It seems that I can never do any thing right in the eyes of my Cuban grandmother. She asked me to buy her an “apollo mop.” I searched every store and could not find this type of mop. I finally decided to buy her one of those battery-operated mops with the automatic dispensing cleaner and disposable floor pads. When I gave it to her, she said that I had wasted my money and insisted I return it and get her an “apollo mop.” I explained that I tried but no one carries them. She made me take her to the bodega down the street. She came out of the store waving a stick and rag and telling me emphatically “This is a apollo mop!” It was a long t-shaped stick with a white rag? -Frustrated & Aggravated Dear Frustrated Your abuela was looking for a “palo”(stick) and rag mop; also known as a “trepador.” Wise up - the palo/rag method of mopping is the best invention since rolled toilet paper and works without batteries. -Mama

After the bread dough has been kneaded, it is shaped into long ropes of dough and cut into lengths. A strand of the wet palmetto is placed along the center top of the loaf. The loaf is then placed frond side down to rise. As soon as it has risen sufficiently, the loaf is turned frond side up and allowed to rise again. When placed on the hearth in the ovens, the wet palmetto leaf causes the top of the loaf to split properly and creates the classic look we know today.


n the days of horse and buggy, the loaves were delivered door to door in the wee hours of the morning. Residents of the casitas customarily drove a nail into the doorframe of their house so the deliveryman could jam the end of the bread on the nail. This kept it off the ground, away from the dirt and the critters that might be looking for a free breakfast before the homeowners were able to bring the bread inside.


wo of Juan’s five children, Raymond and Anthony, followed their father into the business and eventually their sons continued the tradition. The first cousins, also named Anthony and Raymond, run the business today. The bakery carries a full line of pastries in addition to the traditional bread. The fame of the bread is now nationwide. When the Columbia Restaurant opened several locations around the state, the Morés needed a way to continue to supply them with fresh bread. That’s when the A worker preparing the palmetto frond. 19-inch “freezer loaf” was created. Beef O’Brady’s also uses the smaller loaf and the Outback chain does as well. U.S. Foods and other distributors deliver the frozen bread around the country. When the bread goes out of our community perhaps a note of explanation should be included. Raymond tells of customers from around the country calling to complain that the bread has “grass in it.” He patiently tells the customer of the palmetto’s function, and they are satisfied. Customers and restaurant owners who try to substitute other bread are always disappointed. Attempts to change anything about the recipe, even leaving off the palmetto fronds, which add no flavor, has also consistently met with disapproval. It is a winning recipe, this wonderful bread that came from Cuba so many years ago.

La Segunda Bakery on 15th Street in Tampa.

Trays of Cuban bread dough sit ready to be placed in the large ovens for baking.

Gail Ellis attended the University of South Florida, lived and worked in Tampa for 40 years. Devoting her time to writing now, she currently resides in New Port Richey, Florida. She told us the following, “Just so you know, you cannot get decent Cuban bread nor a cup of café con leche in Pasco County.” Ramon Moré JULY - AUGUST 2006








El Lector’s

Idle Days and Hungry Nights



CIGAR CITY MAGAZINE University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919)


n our factory, the rezagadores (selectors) sit on opposite sides of a broad barrel sorting tobacco leaves in the good strong light coming in the large north facing windows. Two men sit at each barrel. The rezagadores pay close attention to the leaves used as wrappers as they sort according to size, the look of the veins, and dry or oily texture. Sometimes there can be up to nearly 100 grades of wrappers for the various types of cigars made. These wrappers are the leaf that add the finish wrap to the cigar filler. Stacks of leaves are placed along the edge of the barrel and, when the number in the stack reaches about 25, it is bundled up and ready for the tabaquero, the cigar maker, to use according to the size and quality of the cigar he is making. In some factories, at the end of the day, the rezagadores then collect the cigars made with the leaves they selected to see the finished product in a properly rolled cigar. Men apprentice for several years before becoming rezagadores. Selecting the wrappers for the cigar workers requires learned skills, good light and a keen eye. Many tabaqueros only want the wrappers chosen by certain selectors. I tell you this so that you will understand the esteem of these workers and the beginnings of the current situation in our cigar factories that started in June of this year, 1910. The manufacturers sent away the selectors and brought in others of their choosing to the dismay of the selectors and the cigar workers. Many of the selectors and cigar makers of the large factories belong to the Cigar Makers International Union. There were many grievances. The selectors were told they were not training enough recent apprentices. The selectors felt they were training too many. The workers continued to be dissatisfied because the manufacturers were not adhering to the recently agreed upon wage and price scale. Now they were hiring workers who did not belong to unions and laying off workers as soon as they joined a union. The manufacturers seemed to want the workers to strike so they could


bring in open shops without unions being present. If that happened, the workers would have no one fighting for their rights. fter the defeat of La Resistencia, a local union, in the 1901 strike, the workers were bitter and their union gone. The strike lasted four months and cigar workers’ families were hungry. Another union, the Cigar Makers International, stepped in and started recruiting new members. There were other unions as well, but the CMIU had grown to 6,000 members by this time. In July of this same year, workers first left the Celestino Vega and Company factory in West Tampa when the owner refused to recognize the CMIU. This was the final straw for the workers. By the end of July, five factories had closed and the strike was under way. By the end of August, 12,000 men were out of work. The factories sit quiet. El lector does not sit on the tribunal and read to workers, no cigars are made and workers sit idle. My friends are frustrated and angry. They want to work and need to work, but are afraid they will lose their union representation if they concede to the manufacturers. Many have left Tampa for other Florida cities, northern states, or to return to Cuba to seek employment in the cigar factories there. Others work in farming or other businesses to feed their families. My job as el lector is also silenced. I spend idle time translating books and documents and teaching English to students. Many hours I have spent in the labor temple and cafÊs drinking cups of strong Cuban coffee and listening to the discussions about the strike. I speak words of encouragement to the workers. It is a difficult fight, but theirs is a just cause. Our hopes were raised at the August 11th demonstration of support by not only the cigar workers, but also by the unions and men of other trades. The Joint Advisory Board of the Cigar Makers International union organized the evening parade. JULY - AUGUST 2006




ous victories that strikes won for workers in other unions around the country this year. The workers cheered and were again inspired that victory could come to us as well. Again we wait. The enthusiasm fades more quickly each day. The men are tired of the harassment from the manufacturers and from the union extremists. I think the unions want to fight more for the sake of having their union representation in the factory than for the welfare of the workers they represent. The cigar workers want fair treatment and good wages for the highly skilled work of making fine cigars. They want to feed their families with wages for hard work not from some meager handout given in a miserly fashion from the unions. There were rumors the union would be out of money soon anyway. I do not have a good feeling about this strike. The manufacturers have their own “union” of sorts. The Clear Havana Cigar Manufacturer’s Association makes decisions that all factory owners follow. As a group, they can be stronger than our unions. I hope this will soon be over. I miss walking through the factory smelling the warm tobacco and healthy sweat of working men. I miss reading to the workers while I listen to the chavetas slicing and trimming the leaves of tobacco and men laughing and shouting happy greetings to their friends. Maybe this will soon be finished and we can return to the lives and livelihoods we love.

Rezagadores (selectors), choosing tobacco leaves for hand-rolling cigars.

Photo Courtesy Tampa Public Library System

It moved through Tampa down Florida Avenue past the courthouse, on down Franklin to Seventh Avenue and on into Ybor City. Hundreds of supporters belonging to the unions for carpenter and joiners, sheet metal workers, bricklayers, and longshoremen from the Port of Tampa joined along the way. Supporters came from St. Petersburg and other communities around Tampa. A large uniformed band played while accompanying the parade. Seeing the women and men along the way shouting encouragement and waving hats and handkerchiefs made us stand proud and tall. It was a warm August night and the streets were illuminated only by the two torches we carried as the groups walked from the shallow pool of light from one street light to the next one in the distance. Some of the men built a platform on the vacant lot at 19th and 7th Avenue. Speeches were given to a crowd of thousands at the end of the parade. José de la Campa, the President of the Joint Advisory Board, began the introduction of the other speakers by explaining the difficulties the cigar makers had endured from the manufacturers. The speech was so beautiful that it made my heart swell with pride in our people. The band played inspiring music throughout all of the speeches and, at the end, Mr. de la Campa bid the crowd good night with a wish for us to go in peace and show the people of Tampa we are law abiding in our demonstrations. And we did go in peace. It was a quiet night in the streets of Ybor and West Tampa. The days following were not so quiet. The manufacturers offered some modest concessions, but refused to recognize the union. That was unacceptable. Several factories announced that they would reopen as an open shop and those wanting employment could return. This resulted in some street fights between the indignant union men and those who were enticing them to return. When they opened the Santaella and Company factory in West Tampa, fights broke out and three were arrested, but no one went to work. At the Berriman Brothers in Ybor it was calm, but again no one went to work. Within a few days the factories closed again. Now we have just passed Labor Day. As we hoped, the unions had big parades with floats, banners and bands entertaining the community. As in the earlier parade, there was a lot of support from the other unions in and around Tampa. Later, speeches supporting the unions were given. Reverend Joe Sherouse of the Typographical Union told us of the vari-


his is a fictional account of how the strike of 1910 was felt by the workers from el lector’s view. The strike was not to be over quickly. It was long, hostile and deadly before the end

came in January 1911. Shortly after this account ends, on September 14, 1910, J.F. Easterling was shot as he tried to enter the Bustillo Brothers and Diaz factory where he worked as a bookkeeper. As he lay in the hospital, the police arrested two Italian men from West Tampa who were suspected of the crime. While these men were not cigar workers, they were suspected of being hired by an extremist working inside the union. As they were transported from one jail to another, they were taken from the police by vigilantes and lynched from a tree on the corner of Grand Central Blvd. (Kennedy) and Howard. Later that month, Easterling died from his injuries and was laid to rest

in Woodlawn Cemetery. Ybor and West Tampa simmered in unrest. The Balbin Brothers factory was burned and fights erupted frequently. A Citizens’ Committee was formed by local Tampa businessmen who said they represented the economic interests of Tampa. Others called the committee the “Cossacks of Tampa” for their patrols through the streets breaking up union meetings, threats, illegal searches, and beatings. Basically, they violated the civil rights of anyone in their path. Even women and children were arrested for vagrancy if they were found begging. The laws of decency applied only to white “Americans.” The cigar workers feared not only the Citizens’ Committee but also the

Addendum union extremists. It was an ugly time in the history of Tampa. Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor (CMIU’s parent organization), was outraged at the

tactics and complained to the Governor of Florida who visited the city and met with the police and Mayor in Tampa. They decided that all actions by the police and citizens committee were justified. The union’s Joint Advisory Board decided to hold an election at the end of September to see if the workers wanted to return to work or continue the strike. To ensure a fair ballot so that there would be “no intimidation or undue influences around the balloting place,” the Board of Trade suggested representatives from the city and the Board of Trade be present to enforce a fair return and count of votes. According to the Tampa Morning Tribune on October 11, 1910, it was “a farcical elec-

tion.” The results were 3,446 to 15 in favor of continuing the strike. “The vote itself is sufficient comment on whether or not the election was conducted as announced,” the newspaper concluded. The strike continued. In October, the Joint Advisory Board became more defiant. The Tampa Morning Tribune ran an article outlining its proclamation, which stated the board would not be responsible for actions taken by workers “produced by the machinations of the enemy of the working class.” Further, the board would ship the cigar workers out of the city if any violence came to them. Other union workers rallied to the cigar workers’ cause with similar proclamations of support.

By November, some factories reopened using strike-weary workers with starving families to feed. The citizen patrols guarded factories and dispersed the picketing workers with threats, arrests

and beatings. The Citizens’ Committee was made up of men who were basically hired guns and their tactics succeeded in breaking not only the spirit of men and women, but also the back of the strike. By January, the union’s coffers were empty. Though some die-hards persisted, the union gave up and recommended that the workers return to work. For the second time in 10 years, the factory owners were successful in stopping the unions. Sources for historical information about the 1910 strike for both el lector and the addendum: USF Special Collections that included City in Turmoil: Tampa and the Strike of 1910 by Joe Scaglione and Alterta Tabaqueros! Tampa’s Striking Cigar Workers by George E. Pozzetta, Arsenio Sanchez collection Immigrant World of Ybor City by Gary Mormino and George E. Pozzetta Tampa Morning Tribune, June 1910October 1910 Tampa Cigar Workers, by Robert P. Ingalls and Louis A Perez, Jr.



University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Department

A Shrimp in the Jaws of Progress By Andrew Huse

Fishing Boat - 1924


he salt water of Tampa Bay laps gently against a seawall at Palmetto Beach. A vacant building stands by the shore, with lit-

tle evidence that a cultural and culinary landmark once thrived

here. A spray-painted message across the front of the building wards away unwelcome visitors, “No shrimp. No seafood. No bait.”


the fresh seafood attracted crowds of customers. Only a family passionate about fishing could persist in such a career. For many years, Robert and Helen adhered to the same exhausting routine. Robert shrimped all night. Helen woke before dawn to make him breakfast and take the kids to school before putting in a day at the market. When she returned home with the kids, Robert woke, ate supper and returned to the shrimp fleet. When he set out for the night, Helen put the kids to bed and rested while she could. By 1980, the couple had built a strong business and brought more family into the operation.

obert Richards and Helen Chattin grew up in Palmetto on the outskirts of Tampa. They went out crabbing one night as a first date. Helen shone the light and held the tub for their catch. During the 1950s and 60s, young folks ate, drank, and fell in love in the Seabreeze’s crushed shell parking lot. A temple of American drive-in culture, the restaurant’s good times and savory aromas drifted over the waters of the bay. Robert and Helen married in 1954. He worked as a roofer and boilermaker, but saltwater flowed in his veins. One day when Robert admired a tub full of live shrimp and learned they were caught in the bay, inspiration struck. “I got the bug then,” he said of his desire to become a commercial fisherman. After a few part-time shrimp seasons, Tony and George Licata–Victor’s sons–told Robert that they needed soft shell crabs for their Seabreeze Restaurant. The men had been friends for many years, so Robert agreed to help and built a seafood market beside the restaurant. By 1970, Robert went deep into debt to accumulate a fleet of shrimp trawlers, and

Seabreeze during the 1940s. After a fire in 1950, an old barracks from Drew Field replaced this old building.


Photograph courtesy of Andy Huse.

ighty years ago, Victor Licata opened the Seabreeze Restaurant on the site, blending his beloved Italian cooking with Cuban and Cracker influences. The Seabreeze culled a blue-collar clientele from the workers of nearby industrial facilities. The Licata family arguably invented the deviled crab, a croquette spiked with spicy tomato sauce. Beginning in the 1960s, Robert and Helen Richards supplied the Seabreeze with seafood and later took over the business. Today, the restaurant is defunct, and a fishing family lost its livelihood. The price of doing business in Florida has climbed too high for most fishermen.




The Seabreeze as it looks today with spray-painted messages warning hungry fans that still stop by that it is closed.

oday, such a business is nearly impossible to start on the coast of Florida. Historically, the state’s business and political leaders valued profits over sustainability, and people like the Richards paid the price. Tampa’s sewage, dumped into the bay after being treated with a cocktail of bacteria-killing chemicals, disrupted sea life. Planes dusted the bay with deadly poison meant to exterminate nearby fire ants. A recurring series of chemical spills from phosphate plants and incinerators took a deadly toll on the bay’s ecology, bleaching sea grass and seafood alike. Just last year, a phosphate company’s gypsum stack collapsed into the bay, perpetuating one of Tampa’s less savory traditions. Robert estimates the late 1980s as being a low point for the health of Tampa Bay. The Richards maintain that over fishing was never a problem. Net bans missed the real problem entirely. Pollution rendered many fish infertile. Legislation favored tourist sports fishermen over commercial fishing. Of politicians and their new laws, Robert said, “They abolished the commercial fishing industry.” Sporting anglers blamed their lack of catch on the fishing industry, “even though the shrimp boats were not catching any of the fish that they caught,” Helen said. New pressure came from inland. Industrial farm-raised seafood treated with preservatives and plumping agents filled the seafood cases of supermarkets, bypassing local fishermen and markets alike. In 1990, a new crisis struck. George Licata announced he would sell the Seabreeze, and the Richards would lose their base of operations. The Richards feverishly searched for a new home for their fleet and market. “We looked everywhere,” Robert said, among “the dwindling space that’s available on the gulf coast.” Waterfront development occupied most of the land. The remain26



t soon became apparent that neither the restaurant nor the market could prosper on its own. At the market, young Jimmy Richards struggled. “As hard as he tried he couldn’t make a go of it,” Robert said, “even though we had five boats then.” The catch slumped with the health of the bay and gulf. “As production declined in the seafood industry,” Robert explained, “instead of selling a lot of the products wholesale, our son would bring it to the restaurant, process it there and sell it at a profit.” Robert and Helen welcomed the reliably fresh seafood. New laws prohibited them from buying product from fishermen who did not have expensive permits. The Richards became wary of unscrupulous wholesalers who marketed questionable product at premium prices. “Robert had to watch it all the time,” Helen said of their wholesale purchases. Jimmy’s fresh seafood allowed the Seabreeze to maintain quality without raising prices.

Photograph courtesy of Andy Huse.

Photograph courtesy of Andy Huse.

ing spaces commanded too high a price for consideration. Once again, the Richards risked all for their chosen profession and bought the Seabreeze. They passed the market and fleet to their eldest son Jimmy. This preserved their beloved fishing business, but also made them restaurateurs which they knew little about. George Licata promised to teach them the ropes of the Seabreeze after a vacation. He died of cancer soon after. Upon taking over the eatery, the couple endured “much worse of a grind,” according to Helen. When asked if they considered selling out, Robert laughed and said, “As soon as we bought it!”

Robert and Helen Richards, the last owners of the Seabreeze Restaurant pose in front of the remnants of their shrimp fleet.

Robert showed understandable frustration when he recalled that commercial fishermen could not catch mullet under a foot long. “Now that the fishing industry’s all but gone, sports fishermen are allowed to catch those little finger mullet to use for bait. You can throw a bait net and catch two or three hundred sometimes. But we weren’t allowed to catch them and sell them for food.” The Richards family squeaked by despite mounting pressure. Helen remembered, “We had a tiger by the tail; you couldn’t turn it loose.” A legal battle over property with the Tampa Port Authority—still in litigation today—exacerbated the problems. Robert suffered a serious heart attack.


Despite the hardships of the past, the Richards enjoy their lives in retirement. Helen wrote the charming Seabreeze by the Bay Cookbook (as did this author, American Printing, 2001) as a farewell to the restaurant. They might even be able to forget the disappearance of their livelihood if they could find buyers for their remaining fleet. Selling three shrimp trawlers to Florida’s vanishing fishermen is no easy task.

Andy Huse is Assistant Librarian, USF, Tampa Library Special Collections Department, Florida Studies Center.

y 2002, Robert and Helen reached the end of their rope. “We couldn’t stand it another day,” Robert said, “We weren’t staying afloat anymore.” They sold the property to International Ship Repair, searched Florida’s gulf coast for new property but found nothing suitable.


1700 E. Hillsborough Ave. • Half Mile East Of I-275 North • 877-223-2887 JULY - AUGUST 2006


A RIDE E.J. with


Honorable Judge E.J. Salcines



am embarrassed to admit that I knew almost nothing about West Tampa's rich history until the beginning of 2004. It was then, March 1st, that Judge E. J. Salcines (Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeal) drove me into the historic community for a personal tour. I was privileged to begin a remarkable journey, simultaneously both backward in time and forward in vision. Salcines is one of those Tampanians who wears the city's storied history as a badge of pride. His parents were both natives of Spain, immigrants who arrived here during the long wave of settlement after the turn of the century. His father, Emiliano, worked as senior employee at West Tampa's Solomon Simovitz Department Store for many years before he opened his own establishment in 1941. Salcines was raised in the heart of old West Tampa when the Cigar was still king. His father's store, across from the telegraph office at the corner of Howard and Main, defined the heart of the city. When the keen historian talks about the beginnings of the community half a century before his birth, it is almost as if he was there. Salcines talked enthusiastically about the district's colorful beginnings. "West Tampa does not come to life," Salcines said, "until Mr. Hugh Macfarlane – with a lower-case 'f' - was inspired by the immigrant community developing 200 acres in Ybor City." He reached a little further back in time to establish his case.

Tampa Public Library System


University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Dept.

"In 1868 a ten-year war started in Cuba. Cuba's labor considered the scene. "Gutierrez was such a good chamber base became unstable, and Martinez Ybor (a native of of commerce representative that they all got on the same Valencia, Spain) moved his factory to Key West – directly ferry that had brought him and came immediately up to opposite the Western province of Cuba. The best tobacco Tampa and found available land on the east side. Today we in the world – a very very fine tobacco," Salcines said, "was know this place as Ybor City." cultivated in Cuba's Pinar del Río." Even though the war The land had been the property of Civil War hero ended in 1878, Martinez Ybor remained concerned that John T. Lesley. Lesley wanted $9,000. Ybor offered $5,000. the ongoing movement for independence – still very much Tampa's Board of Trade (Tampa's Chamber of Commerce alive - would continue to disrupt production. Ybor wanted was founded as the Tampa Board of Trade in 1885) subsito manufacture his cigars in a stable environment. The dized Ybor to the tune of $4,000 and Tampa annexed the entrepreneur was open to ideas and a series of fortuitous company town in 1887. Tampa's star was beginning to connections opened the way to Tampa. shine and the sense of potential was not lost on those with "Ybor was sitting at a table in his Key West home," the resources and the imagination to move forward. Salcines said, "visiting with a Native Scotsman and friend in the industry from experienced attorney Hugh New York (Ignacio Haya), C. Macfarlane (b. 1851) had when in comes another moved to Tampa in 1884. He friend from New York who was appointed city attorney in had just come from Tampa. 1887 and state attorney for He had traveled on Henry the 6th Judicial Circuit in Plant's New York to Tampa 1893. "Mr. Macfarlane rail line. The line had a spur observed how quickly the to Port Tampa. Plant promdevelopment of Ybor City ised to bring tourists to the started bringing people, Tampa Bay Hotel (now the money related business, and University of Tampa), buy industry," Salcines said. "Mr. ships, and have a ferry to Key Macfarlane said, ‘Why can't I West. He pledged to extend develop 200 acres on the west West Tampa Library the service to Cuba. Plant was side?’ “By 1890 he and his a great visionary," Salcines continued. "Gavino Gutierrez friends have already acquired land and by 1891 he cona civil engineer in a New York import export business - visvinced a manufacturer in Key West by the name of del ited his friend Martinez Ybor and walked in on the converPino - of the del Pino brothers - to come to what we now sation with Ignacio Haya. The two men are talking about call West Tampa.” Tampa itself had been jump-started moving factories. Haya wants to move from New York to more than once. "Tampa was known as 'Tampa Town,'" warmer temperature for his tobacco. New York fireplaces Salcines said. "It had attempted to be a city as early as1849. and potbellied stoves dried the tobacco leaf and the leaf The town was incorporated, but they forgot about it and it cracked when rolling a cigar. Ybor wanted more employee returned to 'Tampa Town.'" The city of Tampa cites the and production stability. Gavino Gutierrez hears the condate of initial incorporation as December 1855. The second incorporation was July 15th, 1887. versation and says, 'Why go to Houston, or Galveston, or "The arrival of Mr. Plant and Martinez Ybor is imporNew Orleans? I just came from a place close by with a fabtant," Salcines said. "One brings a railroad, one brings an ulous bay and a railroad (Tampa). You can manufacture industry. The industry needs homes for workers and all the and ship immediately. It’s a straight line north by ferry infrastructure that comes with it. This cigar industry really from Pinar Del Rio to Tampa'" Salcines chuckled as he

There was one more key element to the story. Salcines elaborated, "A bookkeeper in that factory – Fernando Figueredo–is an important figure.



Tampa Public Library System


Bank of West Tampa

gives ‘Tampa Town’ a massive transfusion of money, industry, workers, etc. Macfarlane,” Salcines said, “was an observer. Mr. Macfarlane is also a lawyer and a visionary. He wants to do something big and he sees how Ybor's project is quickly developing and people are pouring in. When Ybor started thinking about chartering Ybor City, the city fathers quickly annexed Ybor.”


ournalist Jennifer Barrs of the Tampa Tribune wrote the following in 2004. "Ybor City was one of the largest and most tolerant immigrant enclaves in the United States, rich in red brick and political passion. Cubans, Spaniards, Italians and mixed-race Afro-Cubans, men and women, worked side by side in the cigar factories. Germans, Chinese and Romanians created businesses born of such bustle, from dry goods to laundries. That toil put Tampa on the map - one hand rolling a cigar, the other rocking this 'Cradle of Cuban Liberty,' a nickname Ybor City earned in its infancy." 32


alcines picked up the story. "By 1892 Macfarlane got together some cohorts and they purchased 200 acres west of the Hillsborough River. 'Let's get this going like the east.' So the del Pino brothers came to the corner of Howard Avenue and Union Street and Macfarlane had a cigar factory built. "The first name was Pino City," Judge Salcines said, "because of the del Pino brothers’ factory." The idea caught on, Salcines said, and the area started to boom. "Macfarlane has a land company, and other cigar manufactures follow. Cigars are making Tampa famous." There was one more key element to the story. Salcines elaborated, "A bookkeeper in that factory–Fernando Figueredo–is an important figure. He had been superintendent of schools in Key West. He became the first Cuban-American elected to the State House of Representatives. He knew about government. His arrival in West Tampa in 1893 is important, because the ball starts to roll to make West Tampa an independent city.

University of South Florida, Tampa Library, Special Collections Dept.

In those days Tallahassee was not so busy. "The legislature only met every other year," Salcines said. "So in May of 1895 West Tampa gets chartered as an independent city. They announced elections, and Fernando Figueredo Socarrás is elected the first mayor of West Tampa." The stage was set for the district's colorful history. "There were around 2,000 people at that time," Salcines said. "Then more factories moved in and streets were laid out. Macfarlane changed the original names and put 'Main Street' through the town center. At the most important intersection he named the street after his son, Howard (Howard Avenue)."


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Main Street and Howard in 1911

udge Salcines is looking forward to becoming more involved in the business of learning and teaching the rich history of old Tampa once he retires from the bench. "When I retire I want to involve myself immersed in Tampa History," he said. "I want to get more involved with the historical society and the history center, and our museums… So that this great mosaic of rich history that our ancestors developed is not forgotten... So that younger and younger generations will know who our ancestors were, and what they did..." Excerpts taken from an interview with Appellate Court Judge E.J. Salcines Brandon-based freelance writer Derek Maul's columns and features can be found in a variety of newspapers and magazines, both locally and nationally. You can reach him at



My Memories

Families Of The Forties “I can only imagine that this must have been a common scene – a large family gathered around a meager table enjoying a meal together. They are respectfully dressed and all seem happy. No one in a hurry and free of distractions–just content with sharing conversation and spending time together. A very different era!” -Nadine Weiderer on her family

940s. circa mid 1 a) en u B e ch , dinner (No t. My mother hristmas Eve a white shir C n g o in as av h h d y z Famil the table an The Gonzale a, is seated at ci ar G so n o lf left. My father, A seated to his is a, ci ar G lez) Aida (Gonza

Letteri Family

Cirino Latteri owned a poultry market at 820 Short Main St. in Roberts City. This is a picture of Cirino and his family circa 1918. Photograph submitted by Josephine Bridges

(daughter of Teresa who married Pedro Cabrera).

Front row (l to r) – Josephine (JoAn n), Rosina and Ciri Back row (l to r) no – Antonina (Annie) , Anthony (Tony) and Teresa If you would like to remember someone important to you on the pages of Cigar City Magazine, please let us know by Calling us at (813) 358-3455 or emailing us at Cost is dependent of the amount of space you would like to purchase.

The dream is coming true.

The dream of living on the water and living in the city is about to come together in an irresistible new address.

Living, shopping, dining, parks and recreation on a re-imagined Gandy waterfront. Deepwater yacht harbor. Marina club memberships. Townhomes, Village Flats and lavish Tower Residences with pre-construction pricing from the $300s to over $2 million. To become a New Port VIP, register today at, or call 800.940.NPTB(6782). On-site Sales Gallery opens Fall 2005 on Bridge Street one block west of Westshore at Gandy.

Where the city meets the bay.

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T H E B E N T L E Y S A L E S G R O U P Licensed Real Estate Broker