The Ybor State Museum

A must-see stop for any visit to Tampa, the Ybor Museum is housed in the old "La Joven Francesca" Bakery which was owned by the Ferlita family.



ybormuseum2.jpg (100211 bytes)Click to read the marker





The Ybor City Museum State Park is a state historic park consisting of the Ybor City Museum, housed in the Ferlita Bakery building, the Casita, and the Garden.  The State Park contains permanent exhibits on Vicente Martinez Ybor, the founding and early history of Ybor City, the cigar industry, the social clubs of the city, and the Ferlita Bakery itself. In 2006, the Ybor City Museum Society initiated changing exhibitions in the Museum space; these change twice yearly. The Ybor City Museum also houses a museum store with a variety of items for sale reflecting the ethnic heritage of the community, the cigar trade, and the site's history. The Garden at the Ybor City Museum State Park is a green and restful version of the Mediterranean-style patios seen in the late 19th century. This beautiful setting is perfect for weddings, parties and social get togethers.

Dagoberto hand-rolling cigars   
at a typical cigar-making work station.   

See a 360-degree view of the garden (Use your mouse to rotate the image left or right.)




The Casita is one of seven small cottages, built for cigar workers' families that are located at this historic site. Three were built around 1895 and, as such, are among the earliest structures in Ybor City.

Originally located on 5th Avenue, the casitas were moved in 1976 to their present location as part of a preservation effort that included the Ferlita Bakery and a number of other structures in the community.

The houses are modified shotgun houses built from Florida pine with cypress or cedar wood shingles. The architectural style -- three rooms in a row with doorways (ostensibly allowing a bullet to pass from the front to the back door) -- was popular throughout the rural South and was a feature of the "factory town" that was early Ybor City.

This house had many design features particularly suited to conditions in Florida. Until 1910 these and similar houses lacked city sewer hook-up or indoor plumbing, and many were without electricity until the early 1920s. Casitas rented for $1.50 to $2.50 a week or could be purchased from $400 to $900, depending on size. By allowing workers to deduct house payments from their wages, Vicente Ybor and other cigar manufacturers contributed to the stability and security of the work force in Ybor City, and eased the hardships of immigration and acculturation.  The interior of these homes are part of the museum tour.


The Ybor State Museum Gift Shop is now located in a newly restored "Casita" next to the museum.


Visit Centennial Park, located directly across the street from the museum.


Read an article "Tony Pizzo's Ybor City", an interview with Tampa Historian Tony Pizzo.


The historic El Pasaje building has moved to page 2


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