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Did You Know

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The U.S. Army occupied our Clubhouse in Ybor City for a short period of time in 1898.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

 

The Hillsborough County Medical Association once sued our club over its policy of providing comprehensive health care for its members.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

 

In March 1869, the man who eventually led the drive to establish the cigar capital of the world in Tampa, moves his Havana factory to Key West to escape high U.S. tariffs of items manufactured abroad.

 

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In October 1884, Bernardino Gargol and Gavino Gutierrez visit Tampa to determine if rumors are true that there are groves of guava trees in the region. There are none, but their trip is a touchstone in the history of Tampa.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In November 1884, Bernardino Gargol and Gavino Gutierrez visit Vicente Martinez Ybor and his friend and fellow New York based cigar manufacturer in Key West. At the time, Martinez Ybor is looking to relocate his cigar factory to escape worsening labor conditions. Gargo and Gutierrez encourage Martinez Ybor and Haya to visit Tampa. They agree and the rest, as they say, is history.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In September 1885, Vicente Martinez Ybor purchases 40 acres of land northeast of Tampa. The purchase is partially subsidized by the local Board of Trade. Soon thereafter, Ignacio Haya buys land in the same area.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In early 1886, the cigar factories of Vicente Martinez Ybor and Ignacio Haya are completed in what soon came to be known as Ybor City. Sr. Haya’s factory has the distinction of rolling the first cigar.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In March 1881, Enrique Pendas founds “El Porvenir” (the Future), a forerunner of the mutual aid societies that were to become the hallmark of the Latin community in Tampa.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In June 1890, Spanish immigrants in Tampa form the short-lived Union Española. It is established by, among others, Adalberto Ramirez who was to become one of the founders of the Centro Español just one year later.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

On December 21, 1891, the Centro Español is incorporated by the State of Florida. Its first president is Don Ignacio Haya. (Refer to the Resources/Archives section of this website to view the original Articles of Incorporation).

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In July 1892, Jose Marti makes the first of many visits to Tampa. He promotes the idea that Cuba should not only seek to be independent from Spain, but should also strive to remain independent of the U.S. He utters the famous phrase “To change masters is not to be free”.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In July 1892, the Spanish government elevates its representation in Tampa to full consular status.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In 1898, Adalberto Ramirez, third president of the Centro Español proposes to members that the organization should provide medical services to its members. Despite winning initial acceptance, the general membership votes down the proposal. Don Adalberto and the entire Junta Directiva resigns. The seeds are sown for the eventual disaffection of many members who later go on to form the Centro Asturiano.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In June 1901, member Antonio Prado suggests the possibility of an affiliation with the Centro Asturiano of Havana as a way for members to gain access to medical services. One thing leads to another and April of the following year, the Centro Asturiano of Havana grants a charter to the Centro Asturiano of Tampa. This leads to the defection of many Centro Español members who supported Adalberto Ramirez in 1898 when he advocated that it provide medical services to its members.

-El Centro Español de Tampa

In May 1903, just two years after it was founded, the Centro Asturiano opens a medical clinic for its members. Later that same year in October, the Centro Español reverses course and decides to offer medical services and purchases land on Bayshore Boulevard for the construction of a hospital.

-El Centro Español de Tampa