This section will contain text and photographs of the Spanish in early Ybor City.

the centro espanol in Ybor City

The Spanish owned most of the early cigar factories in Ybor City, most of the development anc contrsuction companies, and handled the management and skill artisan jobs in most plants. Despite these facts, the Spanish pioneers found that Anglo-Tampa would provide little help to resolve the serious problems of the new manufacturing town. The roads were dirt; mosquitoes filled the air and alligators roamed the wetlands; and social services did not exist.

the centrol espanol on 7th Avenue is now part of Ybor CentroThe EL CENTRO ESPANOL was founded by a group of cigar manufacturers in 1891 so that the Spanish could find a social refuge from the anti-Spanish feelings developing in the decade. Ignacio Haya was abused on the streets by Cubans and the anti-Spanish yellow journalism of Florida papers was continuous. There was a need to preserve Spanish ways.
The Haya Family, Spanish pioneers in Ybor City's cigar industry.While the club was based upon a similar Havana group, the Centro Espanol of Ybor City required only the Chief Executives to be Spanish-born - the club accepted anyone loyal to the ideals of Spain. For 25 cents per week a member could use all the facilities, get all the services, attand all the general events.
The Centro Asturiano on Nebraska and Palm Avenues.The EL CENTRO ASTURIANO was started in 1902 when the Centro Espanol leaders rejected the idea of developing a hospital. As an auxiliary of the wealthy Asturian club in Havana, the Centro Asturiano was well-organized and financed.
Centro Asturiano members in 1923.The club's first center was on 7th Avenue, but they built a brick center in 1909 at Palm and Nebraska. A fire in 1912 led to the big and dramatic structure in that spot since 1914.
The Centro Espanol canteen in 1924.The club allowed all Spanish to be members and had some Cuban and Italian participants. Its massive 1,100 seat auditorium and stage would be the site of the only Spanish-Federal Threater project in the United States.
Centrol Espanol Clinic.Both organizations would eventually developed hospitals, clinics, language schools, and other social services needed to help the Latin immigrant survive in Florida.
Centrol Espanol in 1924.