celebration of its ten years on the web, TampaPix has been updated
larger photos of the first place ever featured at
what would soon become TampaPix--
the Goody Goody restaurant. In addition to larger photos, some never
seen photos have been added.
This site is best experienced using Internet Explorer. Chrome may not
play embedded Windows Media Audio or MP3s on this site. You should be
hearing the edited versions of "I Remember Tampa" on this page. Chrome
may alter the arrangement of text and other elements on some pages.
Mozilla does not support stationary background images (such as the
montage at the top of this page) causing them to scroll up, off the
Most of the
photos on this site, except for the obviously historical photos and
where indicated, are my exclusive property and were photographed by me,
except where otherwise noted. This site is not-for-profit and is
for educational purposes. I am happy to share my photos and have
no objection to your personal use. However, if you wish to use my
photos for advertising and/or profit-making purposes, I do ask that you
contact me for permission. --Owner & webmaster of this
montage above was created from images submitted to the
Tampa Natives Facebook page by fans and admins or are
topics of discussion.
each image or click it to see more.
is proud to team up with the
on Facebook to
bring you a list of photos & discussion topics located
on that site. See over 1,500 photos and over
350 discussion topics posted by fans & members, listed
on this searchable index! The index provides easy and
direct link access to each photo and discussion topic,
as well as the photo caption and comments posted by
KNOW? Velia Martinez, former singer, night club performer and actress
who played "Adela" the abuela (grandmother) on the bilingual PBS sitcom "Que
Pasa USA", was a Tampa Native.
See more here.
almost a year of being off limits due to a chain link fence surrounding it,
work has finally begun on replacing the roof of the historic Macfarlane Park
Pavilion, built in 1957. See photos of the work in progress and the
plans for the roof. Macfarlane
Park, West Tampa
April 16, 2013 - Photos of the
new pavilion completed roof have been added, along with higher resolution images of the
original pavilion, the baseball park and golf course at the park in the 1920s.
Burgerts were a family of photographers who moved to Florida
from Ohio in the 1880s and established a remarkable record in various phases
of the photography business, primarily in Tampa. They were
six sons and one daughter-in-law of the original photographic
progenitor of the family, Samuel Burgert. Three generations of
Burgert photographers worked productively from around the 1860s until the
1960s and at various times took, sold or marketed supplies for hundreds of
thousands of photographic images. In the
process, they coincidentally documented Tampa's development from a
little more than a scrubby port village to a major urban center of
NEW! This feature has been updated
extensively with an in-depth look at the Burgert family
members themselves, including exclusive photos of the
Burgerts provided by Burgert descendants Diane Heflin
Dowling and Harold "Hal" Chesney Burgert, III, great
grandchildren of Samuel P. Burgert. Also, many
more of the Burgert's photos have been added, thanks to
the efforts of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public
Library, the University of South Florida Digital
Collections, the University of Florida Digital
Collections, The State of Florida Memory Project, LIFE
Magazine, and other sources.
April 4, 2013
Restaurant exterior in the 1950s
Formerly the great competitor to the Columbia
the 40s, 50s and 60s, Las Novedades Restaurant's ownership history
had connections to the
Columbia, along with family ties to another great Tampa restaurant--Spanish Park. At Las Novedades, Chef Jose Martinez and his Pompano Papillote set
a standard of excellence. Visit
Highway was built with convict labor and completed in 1925
from Tampa through Odessa and Elfers to New Port Richey.
The road was maintained by the people who lived along it and
was considered to be one of the finest roads in the state at
Read about John Thomas Gunn, the Englishman for whom this
highway was named, here at Tampapix "What's
in a Name." 10-28-2012
have been added to Downtown at Tampapix, including a porcelain
plate depicting the iconic "Tampa" mural at Florida Ave. and
Royal St., along with a photo of the same building in 1957 and
one of the artist, Carl Cowden, III.
does U.S. Army Brigadier General William H. Bisbee have to do
with legendary pirate José Gaspar? They both had a
three-masted schooner named after them, in fact, the same
The schooner William
Bisbee was built in 1902 in Maine, and after over 30 years of
service as a cargo ship in the Atlantic, she was sold in 1936
to a Tampa freight broker in the interest of the Gasparilla
NEW: Four photos of
the Bisbee in drydock in Tampa, in preparation to become the
Jose Gaspar, have been added. A large photo of the
C.H. Hackley, a schooner used as the Gaspar in the early
1920s, has also been added. 10/10/2012
The Favata family
heritage dates back to the family’s olive
farms in Sicily in the 1800s.
They immigrated to America at the turn
of the 20th century and like many other Italian families, headed to the
fast-growing port city of Tampa where a prosperous future awaited them. Giuseppe (Joe) "Pepito" Favata dreamed of having his own market
and raising a family in America. Read about Joe, his family, and his dream
come true, at
Joe & Son Food Market,
here at Tampapix.
Photo added to Tampa Stadium
history - A rare view of the stadium before the end zones were
Tampa Stadium from across Himes, early 70s
9/18/2012 Tampa Stadium was the bay area's first large football facility.
With an initial seating capacity of 46,477, it was built for
the University of Tampa Spartans football team with an eye
towards a potential NFL expansion team in the future. It
was host to numerous pro football exhibition games in the late
60s and early 70s. B Read about
Plant Field, Phillips Field, Tampa Stadium and the teams that
played there,all here at Tampa
day, thousands of motorists travel Adamo Drive, a busy 7-mile stretch of State
Road 60 between downtown Tampa and South Falkenburg Road in Brandon. Few
remember for whom the street was named; even fewer pronounce the name ah-DAHM-o,
as Dr. Adamo would have. A World War II prisoner of war hailed by Life
Magazine as "Bataan's medical hero," he earned a huge welcome when he finally
came home in 1945. Tampa celebrated Frank Adamo Day with a parade and the
renaming of 1st Ave. in Ybor City in his honor. Adamo's courage and sacrifice
as a prison-camp physician, and the many lives he saved with his innovative
treatment for gangrene, earned him a Legion of Merit medal. See the
newly edited article, including an exclusive portrait of Dr. Adamo,
here at Tampapix.
The "Roaring Twenties" brought Florida a
land boom, prosperity, and an invasion of new kind of pioneer.
Facilitated by affordable automobiles and improved roads, the invasion
consisted of tourists from the North and Midwest, in the form of "Tin Can
Read about the
Tin Can Tourists of the World club, founded in 1919 in Tampa's De Soto Park,
and about Tampa's Municipal Trailer Park, built in 1938 on the west bank of
the Hillsborough River just south of Columbus Drive, to lure the Tin canners
back to Tampa for their winter conventions.
here at Tampa's Tin Can
TampaMayor Perry G. Wall, II, was born to a
distinguished Florida pioneer family in 1867 near Brooksville, FL. In 1884 he established a hardware business in
Tampa with his
brother-in-law, Henry Laurens Knight. Knight & Wall
would become one of Tampa's
most prominent and enduring businesses, lasting for nearly 80 years.
Family members became prominent Tampa businessmen, mayors, judges, state
representatives, a distinguished doctor and an infamous underworld figure.
Read about K&W here at TampaPix
Street Bridge Did you know? Three bridges were
built across the
Hillsborough River at what is now Kennedy Blvd.
Read how these three bridges tell the story
of the growing pains of the
city of Tampa and the events
the times, including Tampa during reconstruction
after the Civil War, ferries
across the river, the influence
H.B. Plant's railroad and Tampa Bay Hotel, Tibbets Corner, the McKay family of
Tampa, the oldest house in existence
in Tampa; the Stringer/Stalnaker house, the history of Ballast Point, the role
of Tampa Electric Co. in the bridge development,
Tampa during the Spanish-American War of 1898, Tampa civic leader Robert
Mugge, the temporary bridge built at Jackson Street., and the Kennedy Blvd. bridge
here at TampaPix!
Read about Tampa from the
onset of the Great Depression in 1929,
Tampa's recovery and involvement in World War II through the
1940s, Tampa's Hollywood actress Mary Hatcher, Warner
Bros. filming of their movie "Air Force" at Drew Field,
and a page you just can't refuse...the darker side of
Tampa--from the Prohibition years to organized crime of the
Turn on your speakers and get ready to swing!
All at Tampa
in the 1940s
You Know? Tampa's international airport had its
beginnings at Drew Field. In the 1920s, a dreary
damp marshy land with stretches of sand covered over
with a sparse growth of palmetto scrub was purchased
from John H. Drew by the city as an air field.The Federal government turned it into a military base
1946 it became the site of Tampa's municipal airport and
in 1950, Tampa International Airport. Then in
1952, a brand new terminal was built on the south side
of the east-west runway.
Read about the history
of Drew Field and Tampa's first airport, along with
wartime images of Drew Field's weekly newspaper, "Drew
Field Echoes". See the very first issue, the 1-year
anniversary issue, and rarely seen photos from the
Christmas 1942 issue featuring photo montages of war-era
Tampa, life at Drew and MacDill Fields, including
commanding officers, and the top brass of the 3rd Air
Force Headquarters. Also photos of Tampa's
gleaming new international airport terminal in 1952.
All this at
Drew Field Echoes
Read about the history of MacDill AFB, from before site selection
at Catfish Point through World War 2.
See T-38 Talon, F-5A, C-5
Galaxy, P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, B-24 Liberator, P-51
Mustang, A-7 Corsair, F-4 Phantom & F-111 Aardvark.
Photos have been added, as well as
a link to an audio recording, of President John F. Kennedy's speech
and visit to Tampa in 1963, when he appeared at Al Lopez Field to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of this historic flight.
Here at TampaPix
Read all about Tony Jannus
(he was no rookie when he made his flight), his brother Roger, P.E.
Fansler, the driving force behind the airline, Abram Pheil, the
first passenger and the cost of his ticket, Tom Benoist, owner of
the company who built the airboat, and many others involved.
JFK photo by Tony Zappone
Tampa, the term "Roaring 20s" took on literal meaning when on
Oct. 25, 1921, a major hurricane swept through the Tampa Bay
area causing major destruction from storm surge. Known
as the "Tarpon Springs Hurricane", it caused major property
damage and the loss of 8 lives. 2011 marks the 90th
anniversary of this disaster, and though the area has changed
dramatically in terms of population and development, it still
remains just as vulnerable. Read about this historic
storm and see photos of the damage
here at TampaPix.
From the 1880s location of a
room over a livery stable, to the present magnificent location
on Central Avenue which opened in 1928, HHS has occupied eight
building locations. The history of Hillsborough High
School at TampaPix has been updated with more detail abouit
the school and the people that helped make it what it is
today. See photos of, and read about, B. C. Graham, E.
L. Robinson, F. H. Spaulding, Vivian Gaither, J. Crockett
Farnell, and Marcelino "Chelo" Huerta.
here, at Hillsborough High School
Martinez, the actress who played Adela on "¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?",
was a Tampa Native. Before she landed the role as "abuela"
(grandmother) of the Peña family on the bilingual PBS TV sitcom,
she was a former singer and nightclub dancer.
Read about her here.
May 16, 2013
Tampa of 1930 became Miss Florida and went on to become "Miss
America". But her Miss America title in the midst
of the Great Depression was not achieved without controversy.
Read about her rise to fame, and her shocking decision in the
midst of her success, and tragic death.
1976 Florida State Fair was held in the parking area of Tampa
Stadium. The new fair location at US-301 and I-4 was not
quite ready yet, and the old fair grounds near downtown at Cass
St. and North Blvd. had been outgrown.
See 1976 Florida State Fair at Tampa Stadium
is mentioned and plays a prominent role in the Jules Verne science
fiction classic, "From the Earth to the Moon." Read about it
Jules Verne Park at Ballast point
Thelma McQueen was a Tampa Native.
known as Butterfly McQueen, she was an actress best known
for her role as Miss Scarlett's squeaky-voiced maid, "Prissy"
in "Gone With the Wind." Her delivery of her most memorable
line, "...We got to have a doctor, I don't
know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies," took Hollywood by storm.
The highest point of
elevation in the Tampa city limits is 74.29 feet and is located at
the northeast corner of Fowler Avenue and 50th Street, caddy-corner
Did you know?
Buffalo Bill Cody and Babe Ruth were both visitors to Tampa's Plant Field in the 1910s. Read
about it and see old photos at TampaPix, the history of
Did you know?
February 23, 1862 to October 24, 1866, Tampa had no mayor and
no municipal form of government. Read what Tampa Mayor Hamlin
Snell did in May of 1861, at List of Tampa Mayorsfrom the first to present, dates of
term and links to view their portrait and biographical sketch.
Eight new photos featuring
Mirabella's chef Rudy Romero have been added to
Mirabella's at TampaPix!
The photos were provided by Mr. Romero's daughter, Sandra
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the fame of Tampa Bay as a great fishing ground and the coming of many
Italians, attracted fishermen who soon made Tampa a major Italian fishing
community. Their names are well known to Tampans today: Mirabella, Felicione, Matassini, Boromei, La Bruzza and Agliano.
Many of them went into the seafood restaurant business
with much success.
- A mall directory showing a list of all the businesses in the
mall around 1998 has been added! Opened
in August of 1976, the Tampa Bay Center mall was Tampa's
unique shopping experience. With its interior bathed in
sunlight, a glass elevator and teeming with live trees, it was
Tampa's first 2-level mall. Read about Tampa Bay Center
mall, see photos and video, all here at
Bay Center Mall
IN A NAME?
Street and the bridge downtown were named for one of Tampa's
citizens who, among holding many leading civic and business
positions, served as president of Tampa's Peninsular Telephone
Company. Peninsular was founded by his uncle in 1901,
who was also one of Tampa's most popular, successful and
outstanding businessmen and citizens. Read about the
Broreins, their contribution to the early development of
Tampa's telephone system, and the Peninsular Telephone
Company, here at the new TampaPix feature,
What's In A Name - Brorein.
In 1985, President Gerald Ford hit a golf ball
across Garrison Channel in Tampa. But why?He
also was on board the inaugural ride of the Harbour Island
guideway transit service that carried visitors between downtown Tampa and Harbour Island across the Garrison
Channel from 1985 to 1999. Read about the People Mover, the birth of
Harbour Island, and the early history of the Hillsborough Bay
grassy islands that became Seddon Island and later, Harbour
Two photos have been added to Maas Brothers History at
TampaPix. A family portrait of Henrietta Maas Waterman,
sister of Abe & Isaac Maas, which shows her husband and
children, including son Jerome Waterman. Also a photo of
Jerome in 1965.
and Jacob Maas came to the US from Germany in 1870 and opened
a general store in Cochran, Georgia. They were soon
joined by brothers Abraham, Isaac and Julius in the business. In the 1880s, the brothers
went their own ways. Abe came to Tampa and opened his
dry goods Palace on Franklin St. in 1886. He was soon
joined by Isaac, and together they became "Maas Brothers".
final battle for Fort Brooke lasted over 20 years, but it was not fought
with cannon, gun or sword. It was fought with mightier weapons--the
pen, the word, capital and the law. When Tampa found out that the
military was about to abandon Fort Brooke, in late 1882 many
Tampans desired that this land should not be developed for
commerce or industry, but instead set aside as a public park
for its great natural beauty. Read about the plan that
Tampa citizens came up with to gain title to the land, and the
legal battles that ensued. Learn about the players, the
plan, the fort and the land, and see many photos related to
the fort, including two cannon from the fort placed in Plant
Park, here at TampaPix.
IN A NAME?
Read about the individuals whose lives influenced the naming of
Tampa's thoroughfares, and learn the reason why some places are
named as they are.
of Fortune Street downtown conjures up images of boom-time
prosperity, with business owners making a fortune in profits, but
this isn't why this street and the bridge, now named the Laurel
Street bridge, were named. See the newly updated feature
about Fortune Street and the bridge, with new photos, scenes from
the 2004 film "The Punisher" shot on this bridge, and more,
here at TampaPix.
Gandy Bridge, First to Span Tampa Bay" has been updated
with newspaper clippings and narrative concerning Gandy's Island,
information about the tolls including actual toll receipts from
1942, and the story behind the streetcar tracks that ran down the
center of the bridge from it's opening in 1924 to 1947.
Don't miss the incredible 2-page newspaper promotion by the Old
Tampa Bay Navigation & Construction Company, describing the entire
construction site, along with promoter Eugene Elliott's
archaeological extravaganza, Weedon Island, as the ultimate
Read about Tampa in 1886 from "Webb's
1886 Tampa City Directory" and see the street listings
Cinchett Neon Sign company operated in Tampa for 50
years. New at TampaPix--Read about Frank & John F. Cinchett's legacy in Tampa and see 2
newly discovered photos of John F. Cinchett's last neon sign which is still around today.
amazing video showing color footage shot by Frank Cinchett,
showing dozens of their signs in action at night!
tampasbravest.com is dedicated to the men and
women who place their lives on the line everyday for the City
of Tampa and its citizens. This unofficial website is intended
to provide information about the history of the City of Tampa
Fire Department including pictures and information of
apparatus and stations, past and present.
in the 1950s, in LIVING COLOR
with the sounds of the 50s!
See some beautiful color
photos of Tampa scenes in the mid to late 1950s, scanned
from color slides. Scenes include Franklin Street ablaze
in neon, two night views of Ayres
Diner in Seminole Heights, the US Navy submarine SS Spikefish
on display at the Port of Tampa, the SS Ybor sailing down Ybor
Channel, the Gandy Bridge, and Fairyland at Lowry Park.
All photos courtesy of Tampa native Yvonne Colado.
Your assistance is
requested in identifying the students in a photo of the Helen
Hill School kindergarten class, taken May 31, 1951.
See the full size photo
or click on the photo at right.
Fernando Figueredo was a
hero of Cuba's Ten Years' War, a Florida State
Representative and leader of the Cuban Revolutionary
Party BEFORE becoming the first mayor of West Tampa in
Figueredo was married
THREE times, each time to the same woman, and is
honored on 3 postage stamps.
The order to start the
revolution in Cuba against Spain in 1895 was hidden in
a cigar made in West Tampa, carried on the H.B. Plant
steamer "Mascotte" to Key West, and from there
smuggled in to Cuba and the leaders of the revolution
by the hands and mouth of no less than 3 different
The O'Halloran Bros.
cigar factory sat in a square right in the middle of
present-day Howard Avenue between Main St. and Union
St. in 1895.
In the 1940s,
Ybor City's Cuscaden Park was THE place to go on a
Sunday afternoon or Thursday evening to catch a baseball
game between teams of the Inter-Social league. The
result of one of Roosevelt's WPA projects in Tampa,
Cuscaden was home field for many baseball players from
Tampa who went on to the major leagues. For many
West Tampa and Ybor City youths, the public pool at
Cuscaden was where they first learned to swim.
Boxing on Florida's west coast had its revival at the
Cuscaden boxing arena in the 40s. The park was the
focus of athletic social interaction during the war
years, and served as a respite from the solemn news that
WW2 brought to the forefront in those days.
JOSEPH ROBLES - The Robles are an old and important family in
the history of Tampa beginning with Joseph Robles, an
immigrant from Madrid, Spain who came to the United States in
the nineteenth century. Robles was born in 1817 and migrated
as a stowaway at the age of 15 from his native Spain. He is
said to have jumped ship in 1832 in Georgia and headed to
Florida after marrying in Georgia. Read about the Robles and see original land
surveys of Tampa that show where the Robles properties were
located. If you work in downtown Tampa, chances are you
drive through it every day.
Armwood was a Tampa native and the first African-American woman from
Florida to graduate from an accredited law school--Howard University.
Armwood High School in
Seffner, which opened in 1984, was named after her.
20th-century Renaissance woman, Ms. Armwood steadfastly held the values of
hard work, religious morality, and judicial equality before the American
consciousness. She used diplomacy to present these ideals to the American
public. Called a "Female Booker T. Washington," Armwood served as liaison
between the black and white races. She was administrator, educator, innovator,
writer, and poet.
95-YEAR-OLD STILL WORKS AT TAMPA'S CITY HALL!
See interior photos added Oct. 6, 2010
recently turned 95-years-young and yet SHE sets the pace for
City Hall's employees and downtown visitors. She
performs her job with pride, on the 10th floor where she's
worked ever since she started there in the early 1900s.
She's always punctual and doesn't plan on slowing down or
retiring any time soon!
and see photos of "Hortense the beautiful" as she's known to
many. Also learn about the city hall building, its
history and design.
SNAKES ON A
PLANE! - Dec. 9, 1969
A NEW Photo has been
added on 9-27-2010 from "The Reading Eagle", a Pennsylvania
newspaper. On the above date,
a C-46 cargo plane made a forced landing in the parking area
of Al Lopez field. It came to rest against a utility pole,
just 500 feet from a house which was across Himes Ave.
Stories circulated amongst the locals that it carried reptiles
and that snakes escaped to roam the neighborhood until they
were rounded up. Part of this is true;read on!
"Fortress" Bomber Makes Crash Landing in West Tampa - May 19,
Shortly before 7 a.m. on May 19, 1944, a four-engine
B-17 bomber crashed on Abdella Street in West Tampa just
east of Drew Field, the giant wartime base where
today's Tampa International Airport is located.
Read about the heroic efforts
of neighborhood residents to rescue the 9-man crew from the
Sheppard "Dad" Gandy was one of those fellows who laughed at the
word “impossible.” He has a long list of achievements to his credit
and many of those achievements represent the completion of ideas
which once were branded as absurd. The original Gandy Bridge was the
work of a dreamer--unquestionably. Only a dreamer of the most
pronounced type could have conceived such a project and only a
dreamer could have believed that it would some day be completed.
But there was nothing dream-like about the struggle which Gandy had
to make his dream materialize.
Read about the
amazing perseverance of George "Dad" Gandy and his 22 year quest to
be the first to bridge Old Tampa Bay. Learn about "colorful"
promoter Eugene Elliott who raised $2 million for the project, in
just 110 days...in 1922!
The Gandy Bridge - First to Span Tampa Bay
Ask 10 people what goes
into making an exceptional Cuban Sandwich and you'll likely
get ten different responses that vary in ingredients,
preparation and appearance. The debate can get as hot as the
bread just out of the oven--not just over the ingredients, but
even on the order they're stacked, the cut and pressing.
It may depend on your interpretation of "Cuban"
--traditional as it was in Cuba, or how Tampa/Ybor City's rich
ethnic mix caused it to evolve early on. Either way,
there's not much variation in the recipe and preparation.
But it is the bread that makes or breaks a Cuban sandwich; as
with any building, the foundation is important.
See Cuban Bread
- first baked in Ybor City's "La Joven Francesca" bakery,
Cuban cigars, it can be mighty difficult to find a fine Cuban
sandwich. Unlike Cuban Cigars, one could argue that the
so-called Cuban sandwich is more Tampa than Havana.
People in Miami often talk as if they invented the Cuban
sandwich, but they are pretenders to the throne. In the early
1900s, workers in Cuba brought simple "mixto" sandwiches to
work or bought them at cafes. These cold-cut concoctions took
on a new character in Tampa, influenced by Ybor City's vibrant
mix of immigrant cultures. By the 1920s, the old "mixtos"
coalesced into something more distinct – the Cuban sandwiches
we know and love – an original Tampa creation.
More on the "Mixto"
Beginning in 1886,
immigrants from Spain, Italy, and Cuba fled poverty and
warfare to seek new lives in Tampa. An erratic cycle of
feast and famine continued in Ybor City for fifty years. The
Cuban sandwich rose in popularity during the 1920s, when
electric sandwich presses and toasters became more common.
During tough times, Ybor City had the example of Cuban bread
to follow. When Cuba struggled for independence from Spain in
the late 1800s, citizens there faced hunger and hardship.
Cuban bakers responded by stretching their bread into long,
thin loaves to provide small slices for rationing. The
practice never changed in Tampa; but today, bread in Cuba
(when it can be obtained at all) is short and more round.
Tampa's most famous
sandwich would not be possible without the stretched Cuban
loaf. Ybor City split the loaf and filled it with mojo roast
pork, sugar-cured ham, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles and
mustard. Each of the main ingredients came from Ybor City's
dominant ethnic groups: the Spaniards supplied fine glazed
ham; bread and mojo pork came from the Cubans; and the
Italians supplied salami. Below: "La Joven
Francesca" Bakery where the first Cuban bread was baked, 1896.
It is now the Ybor State Museum.
A. J. Schleman biting into loaf of Cuban bread at
Independent Life and Accident Insurance Co., 1950
When one examines the
labor that went in to making an old-fashioned Cuban, it is
more under-standable that today's sandwiches fall short so
often. Like so many simple things in early Ybor City, the
Cuban sandwich was elevated to an art and craft. Restaurateurs
prepared every ingredient in painstaking fashion. If modern
sandwich slingers take some short cuts, it is hard to blame
them. Their profits may not suffer, but the cult of the Cuban
sandwich is a dying culinary breed. By the time it became a
recognized and revered tradition in the 1940s, the real thing
was already fading fast. The true Cuban sandwich – conceived
in Cuba and perfected in Tampa – lived and died with Ybor
City. And for the uninitiated, Ybor City died some time
between the Great Depression and urban renewal's bulldozers in
1965. Wet, cheap boiled ham and processed pork loaves give us
little indication of what a real Cuban sandwich should taste
like. It doesn't help that most places pile on lettuce, mayo,
and tomato, which is like adding a glass of water – it dilutes
the flavor. When done right, the sandwich showcases the
contrast between the dry crust of Cuban bread with the rich
mingling of melted fats within. The bold combination of salty
ham and salami, the garlic and vinegar overtones of the roast
pork, the sharp taste of pickle and mustard – are all married
by the bread and subtle charm of Swiss cheese.
bread being made at Faedo's Bakery
Torres making Cuban Sandwiches the old fashioned way, 1957
A long-time Ybor restaurant worker, Manuel Torres, made Cuban
sandwiches in 1957 in what even then was known as the "old
fashioned way". Torres soaked a select pork roast overnight in
a mojo marinade of lemon juice, salt, fresh garlic, oregano
and vinegar. He then parboiled the pork with onions, celery
and garlic and then roasted it. A whole smoked ham was then
in the same mixture. Torres trimmed excess fat from the ham
and coated it in sugar. He then melted the sugar onto the ham
with a hot iron. The resulting caramelized sugar gives the ham
a distinctive taste. Drawn by the irresistible aroma,
salivating onlookers gathered around the storefront as the
sugar transformed into a thin amber glaze. Torres then carved
the meat into thin slices: pork, ham and peppered Genoa
salami. Imported Swiss cheese, sour dill pickles, mustard and
Cuban bread rounded out the sandwich. He layered the
ingredients onto the bread in traditional order: first the
ham, then pork, salami, cheese, pickle, and mustard spread
only on the top slice of the sandwich. "It is always done that
way," Torres said.
Gonzmart, president of the world-famous Columbia Restaurant,
gets a fresh burst of energy as he describes the way his
grandfather, a second-generation owner of the restaurant, used
to make it. This sandwich isn't just a sandwich. It's his
history, his legacy, a signature of his family's labor for
four generations. Richard has recently decided to recreate the
Cuban Sandwich of his grandfather's day. "It started
with fresh-baked Cuban bread from La Segunda Central Bakery.
Then a layer of ham, sweet on the edges, from a sugary rub
that caramelized as it baked. Then thin-sliced pork, which
bathed overnight in mojo marinade before it was roasted to
savory tenderness. Then salami, oh, the salami, studded with
peppercorns and sitting high so its fat could infuse the other
meats. Then a slice of aged Swiss cheese that supported rounds
of sour pickle. And under the lid, a single layer of yellow
mustard. Press this into an inch or two of crusty, buttered
warmth, and cut on the diagonal. Bite." This quote and
photo from a St. Pete Times article by Becky Bowers. See
the whole article here.
The Flower of Tampa
is a 1950s color film
that uses the story of a young man visiting his uncle, a cigar
manufacturer, in Tampa to showcase the city’s cigar industry. Along
the way the young man meets an attractive young woman who takes him
on a tour of Ybor City and the cigar plant where all aspects of
cigar making are discussed, and hand and machine cigar rolling
techniques are highlighted. The film also includes scenes of Tampa’s
airport, downtown, and harbor during the annual Gasparilla Pirate
Festival. This is a LINK to
view the video at the Florida
Memory Project website, it is 27 minutes.
Franklin St businesses in 1924 bit the dust to make way for the
South's most beautiful theatre. See photos of these
businesses, the clearing of the property and construction of the
Tampa Theatre from 1924 to 1926 at
video of Bay Area Renaissance Festival
Watch orphan beggars Seymour P.
Freely and his sister Penelope host an action-packed pie eating
Snow Park -
Who was Maj. Henry E. Snow? Why this park is in the Guinness
Book of World Records and Ripley's..Believe it or Not? Learn
about the numerous names of Kennedy Blvd: Lafayette, Grand Central
Ave & Memorial Hwy. Where did they start and end?
Did you know? The name “Tampa” comes
who lived in West Central Florida between
1500 and into the 1800’s. The Calusa (or Caloosa) called this place Tanpa,
with an “N”, which translates to “sticks of fire.” Some have said
that this refers to the abundance of kindling and driftwood along
the Hillsborough river (sticks to make fire), but the more plausible
reference is to the frequent, intense lightning storms in the area.
1521 Juan Ponce de Leon was the first European to discover present
day Tampa Bay. De Leon was allegedly slain in this area by the
Calusa Indians “as a response to information they received of
Spanish mistreatment of Indians (Calusa and Caribe) in Cuba”. De
Leon’s body was first taken to Europe and now resides in the
cathedral of St. John the Baptist in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Panfilio de Narvaez landed in Tampa
Bay on Good Friday, April 1528, with the intention of starting a
colony. He declared it “the best port in the world.” After
being told by the natives of better riches to the north, Narvaez
immediately got into an argument with a local Indian chief who in
turn sliced off Narvaez’s nose and chased him out of the area.
They abandoned their camp after only a week. A dozen years later, a
surviving member of the expedition named Juan Ortiz was rescued by
Hernando de Soto's expedition.
Hernando de Soto
arrived in the area on May 25, 1539, calling Tampa Bay “La Bahia Del
Espiritu Santo” (the Bay of the Holy Spirit) and met with native Indians
under the Charter Oak (or De Soto Oak) near present day Plant Park
at the University of Tampa. A peace treaty was conducted with
the local Tocobaga Indians, and a short-lived Spanish outpost was
established. However, this was abandoned when it became clear that
there was no gold in the area, that the local Indians were not
interested in converting to Catholicism, and that they were too
skilled as warriors to easily conquer. The Tampa area would be
effectively ignored by its colonial owners for the next 200+ years.
The name "Tanpa"
first appears in the "Memoir" of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda.
Fontaneda was a Spainish shipwreck survivor who lived among the
Native Americans of Florida for 17 years (1575) as a Calusa captive.
He calls it "Tanpa" and describes it as an important Calusa town.
While "Tanpa" is the apparent basis for the modern name "Tampa",
archaeologist Jerald Milanich places the Calusa village of Tanpa at
the mouth of Charlotte Harbor, the original "Bay of Tanpa". A later
Spanish expedition failed to notice Charlotte Harbor while sailing
north along the west coast of Florida and assumed that today's Tampa
Bay was the bay that they had sought. Thus, the name was
accidentally transferred north.
Hillsborough County was named for
Wills Hill(1718 –
1793), the 1st Marquess of Downshire, known as the Viscount
Hillsborough from 1742 to 1751 and as the Earl of Hillsborough from
1751 to 1789. He was a British politician of the Georgian era.
Best known in the United States as the Earl of Hillsborough, he
served as Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1768 to 1772, a
critical period leading toward the American Revolution.
Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, the town of Hillsborough, New
Hampshire within the county, the town of Hillsborough, North
Carolina and Hillsborough County, the River and bay in Florida, as
well as Hillsborough Bay in Prince Edward Island and the village of
Hillsborough, New Brunswick, in Canada, are named in Hill's honor.
The name "Hillsborough River" first appeared on a British map in
1769. At the time, the Earl of Hillsborough was the British
Secretary of State for the Colonies, and thus controlled the
pensions of the surveyors working in the American colonies, which
included East Florida.
Florida's Hillsborough county was
created on January 25, 1834 from Alachua and Monroe counties.
Its boundaries of 1834 included the present-day counties of
Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and
Recognize this dashing
young man? After the outbreak of the Cuban
Revolution in 1895, Tampa served as the
crossroads for journalists en route to the
Caribbean to cover the brutality. This
21-year-old requested to cover the war, in his
words, "to seek professional experience at the
seat of a war." His Dec 14, 1895 article
describing the revolution, datelined "Tampa,"
appeared in London's "Daily Graphic." Written by
the young journalist pictured here, a lieutenant
in the Queen's Fourth Hussars, none other than
THE Winston Churchill.
the sign to turn it on
Frank Cinchett brought his neon sign
business to Tampa from Philadelphia in 1948. His son, John
F. Cinchett, joined the business and raised it to a new level of
John V. Cinchett worked at his
grandfather’s sign shop until the late 1980s. A third-generation
Floridian and Tampa native, John is the organist at various
historic Tampa-area churches. He is enamored with the 1950s,
the years when his father was supplying neon signs to a growing,
Captured in photographs taken by the Cinchett family for their
neon sign shop in Tampa, these never-before-seen images will take
you back to the day when Tampa was a bustling haven of popular
stores and restaurants.
V. Cinchett's passion for the 1950s and his love of commercial
neon art finally came together. Compiling and organizing
rare old photos of Tampa, he authored
Vintage Tampa Signs & Scenes.The book is
about family history as much as civic history.
Photos here are copyrighted property
of John V. Cinchett and used with his permission.
Cinchett has done it again. The author of "Vintage Tampa
Signs & Scenes" has come out with another vintage Tampa book;
"Vintage Tampa Storefronts and Scenes."
Author John V. Cinchett is a
third-generation Tampa native and local history writer who
dedicates his efforts to the preservation and promotion of
historic Tampa photographs. He interviewed dozens of longtime
Tampa store owners, who shared family heritage through captivating
stories and nostalgic photographs of their legendary businesses
that were proudly passed along from generation to generation.
These historic storefront photographs, compiled from private
collections and local library archives, present a walking tour of
downtown Tampa and other popular neighborhoods during a simpler
time that is so well-loved and remembered.
-- TO REDISCOVER, REMEMBER AND RELIVE TAMPA'S PAST!
REMEMBER TAMPA--SHE REMEMBERS ME
"I will share my story with you, to preserve its history."
The TampaPix theme music is Mike Baluja performing his hit
song "I Remember Tampa." Excerpts from two versions have
been edited to play consecutively here on TampaPix. "I Remember
Tampa" is the theme song for the
Tampa Natives Show
and is played
during the opening and closing credits.
To the percussion and tune of a small traditional Latin club piano and a
revised, ear-popping version with a Big Band wall of sound for
the Tampa Natives Show, Mike recalls Tampa, "the way she
used to be, the places we would run to, the faces we would see."
He expresses precious Tampa memories, "...A city risin', on the move, a
simple yet progressive groove...walkin' through the park at night,
beneath the moss-filled trees. Children runnin', ridin' bike,
footloose, fancy-free." Mike is proud to call Tampa "the city that
I call my home, the home from which I never roam.
video features the full revised version of "I
Remember Tampa" that Mike created for Season 5 of the Tampa
First stop the edited versions from
playing by clicking pause on the player below.
Images from a
stunning time-lapse video titled "City Lights" shot by Nicole Abbett and
edited by Nicole Abbett and Sean Birdsell
Includes rare footage of the Cass St. railroad bridge lowering and
On August 10, 2012, Chicago lighting artist Tracey Dear lit up five
Tampa bridges in a project titled Agua Luces. Backed by Mayor Bob
Buckorn, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, and the Lights On Tampa
Committee, this will be a permanent fixture to the City of Tampa. When
the installation is complete, nine bridges will be lit in total. The
Platt Street Bridge, the Brorein Street Bridge, the Tampa-Hillsborough
Expressway Authority overpass, the Kennedy Boulevard Bridge, and the
CSX Railroad Bridge were all illuminated in a ceremony on August 10,
2012. Whether you are on land, in the water, or in the sky, the view
is impeccable. Each bridge boasts it own unique design and with the
reflection of the water, the result is a gorgeous display of lights.
To capture the beauty of the bridges Nicole Abbett created a time lapse over
the course of several days/nights.
See the video here at Vimeo (Stop
the "I Remember Tampa" music first by clicking your "stop loading"
http://www.lightsontampa.org to learn
"A most unique experience; the only show of
its kind around." Share your memories of
living in Tampa, live on the air!
The Tampa Natives
Show is an interactive show featuring live phone calls from
viewers who wish to discuss their Tampa memories on the air.
Reminisce about the days when Tampa's residents were so
close-knit that everyone was like family and see photos
displayed on screen showing wonderful old Tampa scenes.
Sharing your Tampa memories has never been so much fun!
Visit the Tampa Natives Show website for more details
TAMPA CHANGING! Tampa has come a long way in 100 years, and Tampa Native
Bryan Weinstein has a creative
and interesting method of sharing this fact. Bryan has
created a website using "Re-photography."
On his site,
exhibited various sights of Tampa. Each location has two
photographs, a historical photograph, taken up to one hundred
years ago, and the re-photograph, taken within the last couple
Bryan uses a slideshow blend effect so that the old
photo morphs into the recent photo. He has so exactly
captured the scenes from the same vantage point, it's like
instant time travel. Bryan brings to mind how much Tampa
has changed and how much has stayed the same. Visit
Bryan's site at
Bryan seeks assistance by way of support and re-photography of
your own to display on his site!