History of Tampa, Florida

History of Tampa, Florida

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Tampa is a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 city in Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County, Florida
As of the census of 2000, there were 998,948 people, 391,357 households, and 255,164 families residing in the county. The population density was 951 people per square mile . There were 425,962 housing units at an average density of 405 per square mile...

 on the west coast of the state of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

.

The area was once a home to various native American cultures, including the Tocobaga
Tocobaga
Tocobaga was the name of a chiefdom, its chief and its principal town during the 16th century in the area of Tampa Bay. The town was at the northern end of what is now called Old Tampa Bay, an arm of Tampa Bay that extends northward between the present-day city of Tampa and Pinellas County...

. Its modern history began with the founding of Fort Brooke
Fort Brooke
Fort Brooke was a historical military post situated on the east bank of the Hillsborough River in present-day Tampa, Florida. The Tampa Convention Center currently stands at the site.-Fort Brooke as a military outpost:...

 in today's downtown
Downtown Tampa
Image:Tampa_Skyline.jpg|thumb|right|350px|Downtown Tampa looking from the Hillsborough Riverpoly 2403 537 2441 500 2488 483 2516 455 2566 439 2597 410 2649 390 2682 358 2803 315 2949 342 2956 362 3068 383 3074 406 3202 431 3204 447 3332 473 3350 484 3485 1616 2446 1587 Wachovia Centerpoly 1745 1216...

 in 1823, which in turn brought a small population of civilians to the area.

Growth came slowly and sporadically for the village of Tampa during its first half-century, as poor transportation links, conflicts with the Seminole tribe
Seminole
The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida, who now reside primarily in that state and Oklahoma. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creeks from what is now Georgia and Alabama, who settled in Florida in...

, and repeated outbreaks of yellow fever
Yellow fever
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease. The virus is a 40 to 50 nm enveloped RNA virus with positive sense of the Flaviviridae family....

 made development difficult. This changed in the 1880s, when the coming of the railroad and new industries brought sudden prosperity and attracted many new residents to the town. By the turn of the 19th century, Tampa had grown into one of the largest cities in Florida, a status it has kept ever since.

"Tampa"


There is some dispute as to the origin and meaning of the name "Tampa". It is believed to mean "sticks of fire" in the language of the Calusa
Calusa
The Calusa were a Native American people who lived on the coast and along the inner waterways of Florida's southwest coast. Calusa society developed from that of archaic peoples of the Everglades region; at the time of European contact, the Calusa were the people of the Caloosahatchee culture...

, a Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribe that once lived south of the area. Other historians claim the name refers to "the place to gather sticks". "Sticks of fire" may also relate to the high concentration of lightning strikes that Tampa Bay receives every year during the hot and wet summer months. Toponymist
Toponymy
Toponymy is the scientific study of place names , their origins, meanings, use and typology. The word "toponymy" is derived from the Greek words tópos and ónoma . Toponymy is itself a branch of onomastics, the study of names of all kinds...

 George R. Stewart
George R. Stewart
George Rippey Stewart was an American toponymist, a novelist, and a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley...

 writes that the name was the result of a miscommunication between the Spanish and the Indians, the Indian word being "itimpi", meaning simply "near it".

The name first appears in the "Memoir" of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda
Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda
Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda was a Spanish shipwreck survivor who lived among the Indians of Florida for 17 years...

 (1575), who had spent 17 years as a Calusa captive. He calls it "Tanpa" and describes it as an important Calusa town. While "Tanpa" may be the basis for the modern name "Tampa", archaeologist Jerald Milanich places the Calusa village of Tanpa at the mouth of Charlotte Harbor
Charlotte Harbor (estuary)
Charlotte Harbor Estuary is a natural estuary spanning the west coast of Florida from Venice to Bonita Springs on the Gulf of Mexico and is one of the most productive wetlands in Florida...

 near current day Pineland
Pineland, Florida
Pineland is a census-designated place located on Pine Island in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 444 at the 2000 census...

. Map maker Bernard Romans found certain difficulties in translating earlier Spanish-era maps of Florida for English use and may have accidentally transferred the name north to Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida, comprising Hillsborough Bay, Old Tampa Bay, Middle Tampa Bay, and Lower Tampa Bay."Tampa Bay" is not the name of any municipality...

, the next large inlet on the west coast of Florida.

European exploration and early history


Indigenous population


Archeological evidence indicates that the shores of Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida, comprising Hillsborough Bay, Old Tampa Bay, Middle Tampa Bay, and Lower Tampa Bay."Tampa Bay" is not the name of any municipality...

 have been inhabited for thousands of years. Artifacts suggest that early inhabitants of the region relied on the sea for most of their resources. Consequently, a vast majority of inhabited sites in the area have been found on or near the shoreline.

The dominant culture at the time of European contact were the Tocobaga
Tocobaga
Tocobaga was the name of a chiefdom, its chief and its principal town during the 16th century in the area of Tampa Bay. The town was at the northern end of what is now called Old Tampa Bay, an arm of Tampa Bay that extends northward between the present-day city of Tampa and Pinellas County...

, a loose confederation of chiefdoms and villages located along the central Gulf coast
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and in a ring around Tampa Bay, with the principal village
Safety Harbor Site
The Safety Harbor Site is a historic site in Safety Harbor, Florida, located in Philippe Park, at 2355 Bayshore Drive. It is the largest remaining mound in the Tampa Bay area, and is believed to have been the "capital city" of the Tocobaga. In 1964, it was declared a National Historic Landmark...

 located on the shores of Old Tampa Bay near today's Safety Harbor
Safety Harbor, Florida
Safety Harbor is a city on the west shore of Tampa Bay in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. It was incorporated in 1917. The population was 17,203 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 17,550....

 in Pinellas County. Each village contained a temple mound, a central plaza, and one or more midden
Midden
A midden, is an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of animal bone, human excrement, botanical material, vermin, shells, sherds, lithics , and other artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation...

s, which were trash heaps from which most archeological information has been obtained.

Many of these mounds and middens survived for hundreds of years after their builders were gone, but most (including one at the mouth of the Hillsborough River
Hillsborough River (Florida)
The Hillsborough River is a river located in the state of Florida in the USA. It arises in the Green Swamp near the juncture of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties, and flows through Pasco and Hillsborough Counties to an outlet in the city of Tampa on Tampa Bay. The name Hillsborough River first...

 at the site of today's downtown Tampa
Downtown Tampa
Image:Tampa_Skyline.jpg|thumb|right|350px|Downtown Tampa looking from the Hillsborough Riverpoly 2403 537 2441 500 2488 483 2516 455 2566 439 2597 410 2649 390 2682 358 2803 315 2949 342 2956 362 3068 383 3074 406 3202 431 3204 447 3332 473 3350 484 3485 1616 2446 1587 Wachovia Centerpoly 1745 1216...

) were leveled as Tampa and the surrounding communities grew in the 20th Century

Spanish expeditions


In April of 1528, the ill-fated Narváez Expedition
Narváez expedition
The Narváez expedition was a Spanish attempt during the years 1527–1528 to colonize Spanish Florida. It was led by Pánfilo de Narváez, who was to rule as adelantado....

 landed near present-day Tampa with the intention of starting a colony. After being told by the natives of wealthier cultures to the north, they abandoned their camp after only a week to begin a long but futile search for non-existent riches. A dozen years later, a surviving member of the expedition named Juan Ortiz was rescued by Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto (explorer)
Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European documented to have crossed the Mississippi River....

's expedition.

de Soto conducted a peace treaty with the Tocobaga, and a short-lived Spanish outpost was established. However, this was abandoned when it became clear that there was no gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 in the area, that the local Indians were not interested in converting to Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, and that they were too skilled as warriors to easily conquer.

Though they successfully avoided being conquered by guns, the indigenous peoples had little defense against germs. Diseases introduced by European contact would decimate the native population in the ensuing decades, leading to a total collapse of long-standing cultures across peninsular Florida. Between this depopulation and the indifference of its colonial owners, the Tampa Bay area
Tampa Bay Area
The Tampa Bay Area is the region of west central Florida adjacent to Tampa Bay. Definitions of the region vary. It is often considered equivalent to the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area defined by the United States Census Bureau. The Census Bureau currently...

 would be effectively uninhabited for the next 200+ years.

English rule


Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 acquired Florida in 1763 as part of the treaty which ended the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 (Seven Years War). The bay was rechristened "Hillsborough Bay" after Lord Hillsborough, the then-Secretary of State for the Colonies
Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

. Though the name "Tampa Bay" was later restored, the English period is still reflected in the names of Tampa's largest river
Hillsborough River (Florida)
The Hillsborough River is a river located in the state of Florida in the USA. It arises in the Green Swamp near the juncture of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties, and flows through Pasco and Hillsborough Counties to an outlet in the city of Tampa on Tampa Bay. The name Hillsborough River first...

 and home county
Hillsborough County, Florida
As of the census of 2000, there were 998,948 people, 391,357 households, and 255,164 families residing in the county. The population density was 951 people per square mile . There were 425,962 housing units at an average density of 405 per square mile...

.

Britain was much more concerned with the strategically important Atlantic coast of Florida (especially St. Augustine
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United...

) than other parts of the territory and did not attempt to found settlements along the Gulf coast. However, the Tampa area did have a few residents: Cuban
Cubans
Cubans or Cuban people are the inhabitants or citizens of Cuba. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

 and Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...


fishermen who lived in a small village at the mouth of Spanish Town Creek on Tampa Bay along today's Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa's Hyde Park neighborhood
Hyde Park, Tampa, Florida
Hyde Park is an historic neighborhood and district located within the city limits of Tampa. The ZIP code for the district is 33606.-Description:Hyde Park is located adjacent to the University of Tampa and Downtown...

.
Some of these pioneers stayed year round, while most caught a large haul of fish (especially mullet
Mullet (fish)
The mullets or grey mullets are a family and order of ray-finned fish found worldwide in coastal temperate and tropical waters, and in some species in fresh water. Mullets have served as an important source of food in Mediterranean Europe since Roman times...

) from the teeming waters of the bay, smoked them, and then sold them back in Cuba.

Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 regained control of Florida in 1783 as part of the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1783)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain on the one hand and the United States of America and its allies on the other. The other combatant nations, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic had separate agreements; for details of...

 at the end of the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. Once again, the Gulf Coast was not a vital concern to its European owner.

Florida becomes a US territory


Since the mid-1700s, people from various native cultures (especially Creeks from Georgia) had fled to largely uninhabited Florida to distance themselves from encroaching settlers in their homelands. They were joined by escaped slaves from neighboring colonies / states, and these disparate refugees developed a new Seminole
Seminole
The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida, who now reside primarily in that state and Oklahoma. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creeks from what is now Georgia and Alabama, who settled in Florida in...

 culture.

In 1821, the United States purchased Florida from Spain
Adams-Onís Treaty
The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that gave Florida to the U.S. and set out a boundary between the U.S. and New Spain . It settled a standing border dispute between the two...

, mainly to end (alleged) cross-frontier Indians raids and to eliminate the southern refuge for slaves. In fact, one of the first U.S. actions in its new territory was to launch a raid which destroyed Angola, a village built by escaped slaves on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay.

The birth of a pioneer town


In 1823, the United States imposed upon the leaders of the Seminoles to sign the Treaty of Moultrie Creek
Treaty of Moultrie Creek
The Treaty of Moultrie Creek was an agreement signed in 1823 between the government of the United States and several chiefs of the Seminole Indians in the present-day state of Florida. The United States had acquired Florida from Spain in 1821 by means of the Adams-Onís Treaty. In 1823 the...

, which created a large Indian reservation
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 in the interior of peninsular Florida. The U.S. government then built a series of forts and trading posts throughout the territory to enforce the provisions of the treaty

As part of this effort, "Cantonment Brooke" was established on January 10, 1824 by Colonels George Mercer Brooke and James Gadsden
James Gadsden
James Gadsden was an American diplomat, soldier and businessman and namesake of the Gadsden Purchase, in which the United States purchased from Mexico the land that became the southern portion of Arizona and New Mexico. James Gadsden served as Adjutant General of the U. S...

 at the mouth of the Hillsborough River on Tampa Bay, just about where today's Tampa Convention Center
Tampa Convention Center
The Tampa Convention Center is a mid-sized convention center located in Downtown Tampa, Florida. Its location has both waterfront views and views of the skyline. In 2006, a 20-story Embassy Suites hotel opened next door, with a skybridge connecting it to the convention center. Harbour Island is...

 sits in Downtown Tampa
Downtown Tampa
Image:Tampa_Skyline.jpg|thumb|right|350px|Downtown Tampa looking from the Hillsborough Riverpoly 2403 537 2441 500 2488 483 2516 455 2566 439 2597 410 2649 390 2682 358 2803 315 2949 342 2956 362 3068 383 3074 406 3202 431 3204 447 3332 473 3350 484 3485 1616 2446 1587 Wachovia Centerpoly 1745 1216...

. The site was marked by a huge hickory tree set atop an ancient Indian mound most likely built by the Tocobaga
Tocobaga
Tocobaga was the name of a chiefdom, its chief and its principal town during the 16th century in the area of Tampa Bay. The town was at the northern end of what is now called Old Tampa Bay, an arm of Tampa Bay that extends northward between the present-day city of Tampa and Pinellas County...

 culture centuries before. Colonel Brooke, the outpost's first commander, directed his troops to clear the area for the construction of a wooden fort
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 and support buildings, but ordered that several ancient live oak
Live oak
Live oak , also known as the southern live oak, is a normally evergreen oak tree native to the southeastern United States...

 trees inside the encampment be spared to provide shade and cheer. On January 22, 1824, the post was officially named Fort Brooke
Fort Brooke
Fort Brooke was a historical military post situated on the east bank of the Hillsborough River in present-day Tampa, Florida. The Tampa Convention Center currently stands at the site.-Fort Brooke as a military outpost:...

.

A few settlers established homesteads near the palisade, but growth was very slow due to difficult pioneer conditions and the constant fear of attack from the Seminole
Seminole Wars
The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole — the collective name given to the amalgamation of various groups of native Americans and Black people who settled in Florida in the early 18th century — and the United States Army...

 population, some of whom lived nearby in an uneasy truce. In December 1835, troops led by Major Francis L. Dade
Francis L. Dade
Francis Langhorne Dade was a Major in the U.S. 4th Infantry Regiment, United States Army, during the Second Seminole War. Dade was killed in a battle with Seminole Indians that came to be known as the "Dade Massacre"...

 were ambushed by on their way from Fort Brooke to Fort King (near present-day Ocala) in a rout that was dubbed the Dade Massacre
Dade Massacre
The "Dade Massacre" was an 1835 defeat for the United States Army that started the Second Seminole War, which lasted until 1842.On December 23, 1835, two U.S. companies of 110 troops under Major Francis L. Dade departed from Fort Brooke , heading up the King Highway on a resupply and reinforce...

. The Second Seminole War
Second Seminole War
The Second Seminole War, also known as the Florida War, was a conflict from 1835 to 1842 in Florida between various groups of Native Americans collectively known as Seminoles and the United States, part of a series of conflicts called the Seminole Wars...

 had begun.

During the war, Fort Brooke first served as a refuge for settlers, then as a vital military depot and staging area. After almost seven years of vicious fighting, the war was over and the Seminoles were forced away from the Tampa region, and the tiny village began a period of slow growth.

Incorporation


A strong hurricane in late September 1848 almost washed away the budding growth. Every building in Tampa was either damaged or destroyed, including most of Fort Brooke. Much of the population stayed to rebuild, and some desperate lobbying in Washington, DC persuaded the US Army to reconsider a plan to abandon the fort and its garrison of troops.

The Territory of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 had grown enough by 1845 to become the 27th state. The settlement of Tampa recovered enough by 1849 to incorporate as the "Village of Tampa", which officially occurred on January 18. At the time, Tampa was home to 185 inhabitants, excluding military personnel stationed at Fort Brooke. The city's first official census count in 1850 listed Tampa-Fort Brooke
Tampa-Fort Brooke, Florida
Tampa-Fort Brooke was a single census area recorded by the United States Census Bureau during the 1850 federal census with the title Tampa, including Fort Brooke. It was designated to include Tampa and Fort Brooke, which were separate entities. The population recorded was 974...

 as having 974 residents. Tampa was reincorporated as a town on December 15, 1855, and Judge Joseph B. Lancaster became the first Mayor in 1856.

Evidence of the young community's growth was seen as its first churches appeared. Tampa's first church was established by a Methodist
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

 congregation in 1846. That downtown church, First United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 of Tampa, is still active today. The Methodists were followed by the Baptists, who organized the First Baptist Church of Tampa in 1859, and the Catholics, who founded a parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 in Tampa the following year.

The Civil War in Tampa


On January 10, 1861, the state of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 seceded from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 along with the rest of the American South to form the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

, touching off the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. Fort Brooke was soon manned by Confederate troops and martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 was declared in Tampa in January 1862. Tampa's city government ceased to operate for the duration of the war.

Blockade and blockade runners



In late 1861, the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 navy set up a blockade
Blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

 near the mouth of Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida, comprising Hillsborough Bay, Old Tampa Bay, Middle Tampa Bay, and Lower Tampa Bay."Tampa Bay" is not the name of any municipality...

 as part of the overall Anaconda Plan
Anaconda Plan
The Anaconda Plan or Scott's Great Snake is the name widely applied to an outline strategy for subduing the seceding states in the American Civil War. Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasized the blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi...

, which sought to squeeze the Confederacy off from outside sources of money and supplies. However, several local blockade runners consistently slipped out undetected to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. Most notable (though not most successful) among these was former Tampa mayor James McKay Sr., who delivered Florida cattle and citrus to Spanish Cuba in exchange for gold and supplies before being captured and imprisoned by Union forces. (McKay Bay, the portion of Tampa Bay adjoining the port, is named in his honor.)

Trying to put a stop to this, Union gunboats sailed up Tampa Bay to bombard Fort Brooke and the surrounding city of Tampa. The Battle of Tampa
Battle of Tampa
The Battle of Tampa was a minor engagement of the American Civil War fought June 30 – July 1, 1862, between the United States Navy and a Confederate artillery company charged with protecting the ports of Tampa, a small but notable trade hub for the Confederacy, now facing a full-scale Union...

 on June 30-July 1, 1862 was inconclusive, as the shells fell ineffectually and there were no casualties on either side.

Much more damaging to the Confederate cause was the Battle of Fort Brooke
Battle of Fort Brooke
The Battle of Fort Brooke was a minor engagement fought October 16–18, 1863, near Tampa, Florida, during the American Civil War.Two Union Navy ships, USS Tahoma and USS Adela, bombarded Fort Brooke on October 16, 1863, as a diversion, while a landing party under Acting Master T.R...

 on October 17–18, 1863. The Union gunboats U.S.S. Adela and U.S.S. Tahoma came up the bay and, after firing at the fort, landed troops near the town. The Union forces headed a few miles up the Hillsborough River
Hillsborough River (Florida)
The Hillsborough River is a river located in the state of Florida in the USA. It arises in the Green Swamp near the juncture of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties, and flows through Pasco and Hillsborough Counties to an outlet in the city of Tampa on Tampa Bay. The name Hillsborough River first...

 until they found the hidden blockade runners Scottish Chief and Kate Dale near present-day Lowry Park Zoo
Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is a nonprofit zoo located in Tampa, Florida. In 2004, Lowry Park Zoo was voted the #1 Family Friendly Zoo in the US by Child Magazine, and is recognized by the State of Florida as the center for Florida wildlife conservation and biodiversity .Tampa's Lowry Park Zoological...

 and burned them at their moorings. The local militia was mustered to intercept the Union troops, but the raiders were able to return to their ships after a short skirmish and headed back out to sea.

The War winds down


In May 1864, the Adela returned, bringing Union forces to occupy Fort Brooke and Tampa itself. Not finding enough justification to stay, they threw most of the fort's armaments into the Hillsborough River, took much of the city's remaining food and supplies, and left after three days.

The war ended
Appomattox Court House
The Appomattox Courthouse is the current courthouse in Appomattox, Virginia built in 1892. It is located in the middle of the state about three miles northwest of the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, once known as Clover Hill - home of the original Old Appomattox Court House...

 in Confederate defeat the following spring, 1865. In May, federal troops arrived in Tampa to occupy the fort and the town as part of Reconstruction. They would remain until August, 1869.

Hard times



The years after the Civil War were difficult ones in Tampa. With much of the town in disrepair and the population depleted, the isolated village faced a difficult period. As one returning soldier wrote, "Tampa was a hard-looking place. Streets and lots were grown up with weeds and the outlook certainly was not very encouraging.".

As farms and ranches in the interior recovered, Tampa's small port resumed shipping Florida cattle, oranges, and other produce, primarily to New Orleans, Key West
Key West
Key West is an island in the Straits of Florida on the North American continent at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. Key West is home to the southernmost point in the Continental United States; the island is about from Cuba....

, and Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

. However, with little industry and land transportation links limited to sandy wagon roads from the east coast of Florida, Tampa's post-war development was glacial and halting.

One factor limiting economic growth was the lack of population growth. Yellow fever
Yellow fever
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease. The virus is a 40 to 50 nm enveloped RNA virus with positive sense of the Flaviviridae family....

 had always been a threat in early Tampa, but the disease hit with terrifying regularity throughout the late 1860s and 1870s. Borne by mosquitoes from the surrounding swampland, Tampa was hit by wave after wave of yellow fever epidemics and scares throughout the period. The disease was little understood at the time, and some residents simply packed up and left rather than face the mysterious and deadly peril.

The after-effects of the Civil War, disease, and disinterest put Tampa into a slow downward spiral. Conditions in the city deteriorated to the point that residents voted to temporarily disincorporate the city in 1869. However, it would reincorporate in 1872. As a result, Tampa's population fell from approximately 885 in 1861 to 796 in 1870 and 720 in 1880.

Another blow was to come. Fort Brooke, the seed from which Tampa had germinated, had served its purpose and was decommissioned in 1883. Except for two cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

s fished from the river and displayed on the nearby University of Tampa
University of Tampa
The University of Tampa , is a private, co-educational university in Downtown Tampa, Florida, United States. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2006, the University celebrated its 75th anniversary...

 campus, all traces of the fort are gone. (Though in an odd nod to history, a large downtown parking garage near the old fort site is called the Fort Brooke Parking Garage.)

Despite all the hardships, or perhaps in response to them, new church denominations
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

 came to Tampa, including St. Andrew's Episcopal
St. Andrews Episcopal Church (Tampa, Florida)
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is an active Episcopal parish and historic church building in Tampa, Florida, USA. The structure is located downtown at 505 North Marion Street , however, the parish offices are located at 509 East Twiggs Street. On April 15, 2009, the church building was added to...

 in 1871, First Presbyterian
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 in 1884, and Zion Lutheran in 1893. Additionally, Tampa’s first synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

, Schaarai Zedek, was founded by the city’s Jewish
American Jews
American Jews, also known as Jewish Americans, are American citizens of the Jewish faith or Jewish ethnicity. The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe, and their U.S.-born descendants...

 citizenry in 1894.

Phosphate discovered


Phosphate
Phosphate
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

, a mineral used to make fertilizers and other products, was discovered in the Bone Valley
Bone Valley
The Bone Valley is a region of central Florida, encompassing portions of present-day Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Polk counties, in which phosphate is mined for use in the production of agricultural fertilizer...

 region southeast of Tampa in 1883. Soon, the mining and shipping of phosphate became important area industries. Tampa's port still ships millions of tons of phosphate annually, and the area is known as the "phosphate capital of the world."

Henry B. Plant and his railroad arrive



After decades of efforts by local leaders to connect the area to the United State's extensive railroad system, Tampa's long-standing overland transportation problem was finally remedied in February 1884, when transportation magnate Henry B. Plant
Henry B. Plant
Henry Bradley Plant , was involved with many transportation projects, mostly railroads, in the U.S. state of Florida. Eventually he owned the Plant System of railroads which became part of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad...

's railroad line reached the town. The railroad enabled phosphate and commercial fishing
Commercial fishing
Commercial fishing is the activity of catching fish and other seafood for commercial profit, mostly from wild fisheries. It provides a large quantity of food to many countries around the world, but those who practice it as an industry must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions...

 exports to go north, brought many new products into the Tampa market, and started the first real tourist industry: visitors coming in modest numbers to Henry Plant's first Tampa-area hotels.

Henry Plant extended his rail land past Tampa to the other side of the Tampa Peninsula, where he built the new town of Port Tampa City on Old Tampa Bay. There, he constructed the St. Elmo Inn and Port Tampa Inn for a hoped-for influx of visitors. The Port Tampa Inn was larger and had the distinction of being constructed directly on the bay on stilts. Both of these early hotels are long gone, and the independent town of Port Tampa was annexed into Tampa in 1961.


Ybor City and the cigar industry



The new railroad link attracted another industry which would finally make Tampa prosper. In 1885, the Tampa Board of Trade helped broker a land deal with Vicente Martinez Ybor
Vicente Martinez Ybor
Vicente Martinez Ybor was a Spanish American industrialist and cigar manufacturer, best known for founding the cigar-manufacturing town of Ybor City near Tampa, Florida in 1886.-Cuba:...

 to move his cigar
Cigar
A cigar is a tightly-rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco that is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Philippines, and the Eastern...

 manufacturing operations to Tampa from Key West
Key West
Key West is an island in the Straits of Florida on the North American continent at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. Key West is home to the southernmost point in the Continental United States; the island is about from Cuba....

. Ybor had been attracted by Tampa's warm and humid, which kept tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 fresh and workable, and its new transportation links. Close proximity (and Henry Plant's steamships) made import of fine Cuban tobacco easy by sea, and Plant's railroad made shipment of finished cigars to the rest of the US market easy by land. This relationship is acknowledged in the Seal of Tampa
Seal of Tampa
The seal of Tampa is Tampa government's official seal. The seal was made in Italy in the 1920s by Val Antuono, Sr.-Design:In the center of the seal is a depiction of the steamship Mascotte, which was owned by Henry B. Plant and was named after the operetta La mascotte by Edmond Audran...

, which depicts Plant's steamship Mascotte, a vessel that carried thousands of immigrants and tons of tobacco to Tampa.

Since Tampa was still a small town at the time (population less than 5,000), Ybor built hundreds of small houses around his factory to accommodate the immediate influx of thousands of Cuban
Cubans
Cubans or Cuban people are the inhabitants or citizens of Cuba. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

 and Spanish
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 cigar workers. Other cigar manufacturers soon moved in, and Ybor City (as the settlement was dubbed) quickly made Tampa a major cigar production center. Ybor City began as a separate municipality
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

, but, seeing the potential for greatly increased tax rolls, the city of Tampa annexed the bustling community in 1886.

Starting in the late 1880s, many Italian and a few eastern European Jewish immigrants also arrived, making Tampa one of the most diverse communities in the American South. These new arrivals had difficulty breaking into the insular cigar businesses, so many opened businesses and shops that catered to the cigar workers. The majority of Italian immigrants came from Alessandria Della Rocca
Alessandria della Rocca
Alessandria della Rocca is a comune and small agricultural town located in west central Sicily in the northern part of the Province of Agrigento, in Italy. Many of the town's inhabitants emigrated to the United States, particularly Tampa, Florida, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries....

 and Santo Stefano Quisquina
Santo Stefano Quisquina
Santo Stefano Quisquina is a comune in the Province of Agrigento in the Italian region Sicily, located about 60 km south of Palermo and about 35 km north of Agrigento...

, two small Sicilian
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 towns with which Tampa still maintains strong ties.

In 1892, Scottish businessman Hugh MacFarlane founded West Tampa, a new community across the Hillsborough River that sought to attract more cigar factories and workers. By 1900, the town already had one of the largest populations in Florida, mostly Cubans involved in the cigar industry. West Tampa was annexed by Tampa in 1925.

The ethnic diversity of the area's population required separate establishments in the era of segregation
Racial segregation in the United States
Racial segregation in the United States, as a general term, included the racial segregation or hypersegregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation along racial lines...

. This included churches, such as St. James Episcopal
St. James House of Prayer Episcopal Church
St. James House of Prayer Episcopal Church, also known as the Episcopal House of Prayer, is an active Episcopal parish and historic church building in Tampa, Florida, USA. It is located at 2708 Central Avenue in the city's Tampa Heights neighborhood. On February 21, 1991, the building was added to...

, founded in 1895 to serve the predominately black cigar workers from The Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 and Cuba. Other surviving segregation-era churches include Beulah Baptist Institutional Church, formed by freed slaves in 1865, and St. Paul A.M.E., founded in 1870 as Tampa's first African Methodist Episcopal congregation.

The Tampa Bay Hotel



In 1891, Henry B. Plant built a lavish 500+ room, quarter-mile long luxury resort hotel called the Tampa Bay Hotel among 150 acre (0.607029 km²) of manicured gardens on the west bank of the Hillsborough River
Hillsborough River (Florida)
The Hillsborough River is a river located in the state of Florida in the USA. It arises in the Green Swamp near the juncture of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties, and flows through Pasco and Hillsborough Counties to an outlet in the city of Tampa on Tampa Bay. The name Hillsborough River first...

 across from today's downtown. The eclectic Moorish Revival
Moorish Revival
Moorish Revival or Neo-Moorish is one of the exotic revival architectural styles that were adopted by architects of Europe and the Americas in the wake of the Romanticist fascination with all things oriental...

 structure cost $2.5 million to build, a huge sum in those days. Plant went on an extensive European tour while the resort was being built and sent back exotic art collectables from around the world to display at his "playground". The structure also boasted the first electric lights in Tampa and the first elevator in Florida.

Heavy promotion in the Northeast US helped the Tampa Bay Hotel to attract steady business for a few years, and the huge resort was finally filled to capacity during the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 (see below). But with Plant's death in 1899, the hotel's fortunes began to fade. The city of Tampa purchased the resort in 1905 and used it for community events, including the first state fair
Florida State Fair
The Florida State Fair is held annually at the bugger Florida State Fairgrounds near Tampa. The official state fair of Florida, it includes indoor and outdoor exhibits, rides and shows. It is a chance for the state to showcase its agricultural industry. The Fair also offers competitions and food...

. It closed for renovations in 1930 and reopened in 1933 as the University of Tampa
University of Tampa
The University of Tampa , is a private, co-educational university in Downtown Tampa, Florida, United States. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2006, the University celebrated its 75th anniversary...

.

The Spanish-American War


Mainly because of Henry Plant's connections in the War Department
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

, Tampa was chosen as an embarkation center for American forces heading to Cuba for the Spanish-American War. Lieutenant Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders
Rough Riders
The Rough Riders is the name bestowed on the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, one of three such regiments raised in 1898 for the Spanish-American War and the only one of the three to see action. The United States Army was weakened and left with little manpower after the American Civil War...

 were among the 30,000 troops who waited in Tampa for the order to ship out during the summer of 1898, filling the town to bursting.

Those months, while unpleasant for the troops wearing thick wool uniforms in the oppressive Florida heat, were a great boon to Tampa's growing economy. It was also the only time when Plant's Tampa Bay Hotel was full to capacity as army officers and newspaper correspondents sought out more comfortable quarters than a hot and dusty tent.

The war was also very popular in Ybor City. Many of the Cuban cigar workers had long pressed for Cuba Libre - a Cuba free of Spanish colonial rule. Leaders like Jose Marti
José Martí
José Julián Martí Pérez was a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. In his short life he was a poet, an essayist, a journalist, a revolutionary philosopher, a translator, a professor, a publisher, and a political theorist. He was also a part of the Cuban...

 (who had been killed in earlier fighting in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 against Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

) had come to Tampa many times to raise money and volunteers for the cause. With the U.S. entering the war to fight against Spain, it seemed that their dreams would soon be realized.

A vital period


The building of Plant's railroad and hotels, the discovery of phosphate, and the arrival of the cigar industry – all within a decade – were crucial to Tampa's future development and its very survival. The town suddenly expanded from a dying backwater village to a bustling town to a small city. Except for temporary bumps along the way, this growth has continued unabated.

The 20th century



During the first few decades of the 20th century, the cigar making industry continued to be the backbone of Tampa's economy. The factories in Ybor City and West Tampa made an enormous number of cigars—in the peak year of 1929, over 500,000,000 cigars were hand rolled in the city. As the market for cigars began to wane during the Great Depression, other industries came to the fore, especially shipping and, of course, tourism.

In 1904, a local civic association of local businessmen dubbed themselves Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla (named after local mythical pirate Jose Gaspar), and staged an "invasion" of the city followed by a parade. With a few exceptions, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Gasparilla Pirate Festival
The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is an annual celebration held in the city of Tampa, Florida. Held each year in late January and hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, it celebrates the apocryphal legend of José Gaspar , supposedly a Spanish pirate captain who operated in...

 has been held every year since.

Bolita, corruption, and the mob




Beginning in the late 19th century, illegal bolita
Bolita
Bolita , is a type of lottery which was popular in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries in Cuba and among Florida's working class Hispanic, Italian, and black population. In the basic bolita game, 100 small numbered balls are placed into a bag and mixed thoroughly, and bets are taken on which...

 lotteries were very popular among the Tampa working classes, especially in Ybor City. In the early 1920s, this small-time operation was taken over by Charlie Wall
Charlie Wall
Charles McKay "Charlie" Wall was an American businessman and organized crime figure who was a rival of reputed mobsters Santo Trafficante, Sr, and Santo Trafficante, Jr. The son of distinguished physician and civic leader John P...

. The Wall family was one of the pioneer families from early Tampa, and Charlie Wall’s family tree included many leading businessmen, mayors, and other public officials among its branches.

Wall’s operations thrived as he expanded them to include liquor distribution and speakeasies (this was the era of Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

) and prostitution. Other smaller organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 groups tried to muscle in on the action, and long-simmering rivalries were kindled.

These organizations were able to operate openly because of kick-backs and bribes to key local politicians and law enforcement officials. Charlie Wall was well connected, and he used those connections to keep his businesses running and to help put down his competition. Tampa’s political elite, which had held an inconsistent but mostly ambivalent attitude toward organized crime, quietly became de-facto partners.

Election controversies


From the early 1930s until the early 1950s, every municipal election was tainted by electoral abnormalities, most with alleged mob connections. The first widespread example was Tampa’s mayoral election of 1931, when over 100 people were arrested for “cheating at the polls”. Most were supporters of the winning candidate, Robert E. Lee Chancey, who his opponents claimed had close ties to Tampa’s “underworld”. After the election, all of the charges were either reduced or dropped altogether. Many of those involved had been on the city payroll at the time of their arrest, and most remained there.

The situation was even more chaotic during the next election cycle in 1935. This started before election day when Tampa’s chief of police (who supported the incumbent mayor) and the Hillsborough County Sheriff (who supported the challenger) both claimed to be the proper authority to monitor the actual voting. Anticipating trouble, Florida Governor Sholtz
David Sholtz
David Sholtz was the 26th Governor of Florida.-Early life and education:Sholtz was born to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, New York, and after graduating from Yale, where he was a member of the Acacia Fraternity, in 1914 he went on and earned a law degree from Stetson University Law School...

 mobilized the National Guard to prevent violence. Still, both sheriff’s officers and city police were deployed at polling places, resulting in police officers arresting sheriff’s deputies and vice-versa.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the large number of observers, ballot stuffing
Ballot stuffing
Ballot stuffing is the illegal act of one person submitting multiple ballots during a vote in which only one ballot per person is permitted. The name originates from the earliest days of this practice in which people literally did stuff more than one ballot in a ballot box at the same time...

 and re-voting was widespread. The day may have turned violent if not for the presence of the National Guard troops and a sideswipe from the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935
Labor Day Hurricane of 1935
The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was the strongest tropical cyclone of the 1935 Atlantic hurricane season, and one of the most intense hurricanes to make landfall in the United States in recorded history...

, which passed just west of Tampa during the afternoon and pelted the area with torrential rains and high winds.

In the end, the Tampa Election Board determined that Chancey had easily won re-election. They had reached these results by throwing out all ballots from 29 precincts due to “fraudulent voting”. The Board may not have been the most impartial judge of the matter, however, as Chancey had appointed the members himself.

New bosses


While Charlie Wall was Tampa's first major crime boss, various factions vied for control of the area in later years. Ongoing power struggles resulted in regular organized-crime related “unsolved” murders of crime-connected figures in what became known as the “Era of Blood”. To protect their interests (and keep gangland killings unsolved), crime bosses regularly kept local officials -from state attorneys to top law enforcement personnel and even mayors - on the payroll.

By the late 1940s, most of the area’s crime organizations were under the control of Sicilian
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 mafioso
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 Santo Trafficante, Sr.
Santo Trafficante, Sr.
Santo Trafficante, Sr. was a Sicilian-born mobster, and father of the powerful mobster Santo Trafficante, Jr.-Early life:...

 and his faction. After his death in 1954 from cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

, control passed to his son Santo Trafficante, Jr.
Santo Trafficante, Jr.
Santo Trafficante, Jr. was one of the last of the old-time Mafia bosses in the United States. He allegedly controlled organized criminal operations in Florida and Cuba, which had previously been consolidated from several rival gangs by his father, Santo Trafficante, Sr...

, who established alliances with families in New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and extended his power throughout Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and into Batista
Fulgencio Batista
Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was the United States-aligned Cuban President, dictator and military leader who served as the leader of Cuba from 1933 to 1944 and from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution....

-era Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

.

Reforms


The era of rampant and open corruption came to a head in the early 1950s when the Kefauver hearings
Kefauver hearings
The United States Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce was a special committee of the United States Senate which existed from 1950 to 1951 and which investigated organized crime which crossed state borders in the United States...

, Senator Estes Kefauver’s
Estes Kefauver
Carey Estes Kefauver July 26, 1903 – August 10, 1963) was an American politician from Tennessee. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the U.S...

 traveling investigation of organized crime in America, came to town. Informants (including the retired Charlie Wall) came forward to make startling accusations of corruption throughout Tampa’s power structure. The hearings were followed by misconduct trials of several local officials and the “unsolved” murders of some of the government informants (including the retired Charlie Wall).

Though most of the accused persons were acquitted or given light sentences, the trials helped to motivate Tampa to end the corruption and general sense of lawlessness which had prevailed for decades. Ethics and election reforms were passed, and the link between local government and organized crime weakened.

However, major corruption was not eliminated entirely. In 1983, 3 out of the 5 members of the Hillsborough County Commission were charged with accepting bribes. Unlike earlier crooked officials, however, these three were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to federal prison. This scandal resulted in another round of ethics reforms.

Growth and changes


During the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, WPA
Works Progress Administration
The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

 projects were underway which include Peter O. Knight Airport
Peter O. Knight Airport
Peter O. Knight Airport is an airport on Davis Islands, five minutes from downtown Tampa, Florida. Built as a Works Progress Administration project, it was Tampa's main airport from 1935 to 1945, and is still used by general aviation operators today because of its proximity to the central city....

, near Davis Island and Drew Field
Tampa International Airport
Tampa International Airport is a major public airport located six nautical miles west of the central business district of Tampa, in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. This airport is publicly owned by Hillsborough County Aviation Authority...

 (later named Tampa International Airport). During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, MacDill Air Field
MacDill Air Force Base
MacDill Air Force Base is an active United States Air Force base located approximately south-southwest of downtown Tampa, Florida...

 opened up for military operations.

Annexations


Tampa remained a compact city with a land area of 19 square miles (49 km²) until the mid-1950s. Its northernmost boundary was the Hillsborough River
Hillsborough River (Florida)
The Hillsborough River is a river located in the state of Florida in the USA. It arises in the Green Swamp near the juncture of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties, and flows through Pasco and Hillsborough Counties to an outlet in the city of Tampa on Tampa Bay. The name Hillsborough River first...

, in the northern part of Seminole Heights.

In 1953, the city annexed over 60 square miles (155.4 km²) of unincorporated land, including the communities of Sulphur Springs
Sulphur Springs, Tampa, Florida
Sulphur Springs is a neighborhood and district located within the city limits of Tampa, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the neighborhood had a population of 6,308. - Description :...

 and Palma Ceia
Palma Ceia, Tampa, Florida
Palma Ceia is a neighborhood located southwest of downtown Tampa, Florida and is bounded by Morrison Ave to the north; Bay to Bay Blvd to the south; Dale Mabry Highway to the west; and the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway to the east. Palma Ceia is home to the appropriately named Palma Ceia Country Club...

. As a result, Tampa grew rapidly, growing by 150,289 residents during the 1950s.
The growth also reflected on the city's national ranking. Tampa jumped from 85th in 1950 to 48th in 1960, its peak ranking to date.

Overall, most of the annexed communities were unincorporated but five incorporated places were consolidated into Tampa: North Tampa (1885), Ybor City (1885), Fort Brooke (1907), West Tampa (1925), and Port Tampa City (1961).

University of South Florida


The University of South Florida
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, also known as USF, is a member institution of the State University System of Florida, one of the state's three flagship universities for public research, and is located in Tampa, Florida, USA...

 was established in 1956, sparking development in northern Tampa and nearby Temple Terrace
Temple Terrace, Florida
Temple Terrace is an incorporated city in northeastern Hillsborough County, Florida, USA, adjacent to Tampa. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 24,541. It is the third and smallest incorporated municipality in Hillsborough County...

. Busch Gardens theme park opened in 1959.

Urban renewal and suburbanization


With growth came problems. With suburbanization and urban renewal
Urban renewal
Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. Renewal has had both successes and failures. Its modern incarnation began in the late 19th century in developed nations and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s – under the rubric of...

 programs on the horizon, Downtown Tampa
Downtown Tampa
Image:Tampa_Skyline.jpg|thumb|right|350px|Downtown Tampa looking from the Hillsborough Riverpoly 2403 537 2441 500 2488 483 2516 455 2566 439 2597 410 2649 390 2682 358 2803 315 2949 342 2956 362 3068 383 3074 406 3202 431 3204 447 3332 473 3350 484 3485 1616 2446 1587 Wachovia Centerpoly 1745 1216...

 began deteriorating and many industries began to move to the suburban areas. Park Tower
Park Tower (Tampa, Florida)
Park Tower is a skyscraper located in downtown Tampa, Florida. It is the second-oldest high-rise building in the current Tampa skyline. When the building was finished in November 1973, it was the tallest in Tampa, and the third-tallest in all of Florida, at 460 feet...

, opened in 1973, would be the city's only substantial skyscraper (460 feet/36 stories) until the building boom of the 1980s. In the midst of this, a race riot
Tampa Riots
The city of Tampa, Florida, has experienced five instances of rioting.-Tampa Riots of 1967:On June 11, 1967, 19 year old Martin Chambers was suspected of robbing a camera store. Chambers ran from police near Nebraska and Harrison Streets and was shot in the back and died...

 plagued the city on June 11, 1967. The combination of the decline of the cigar industry and the construction of Interstates 4
Interstate 4
Interstate 4 is a intrastate Highway located entirely within the state of Florida, United States. It goes from Interstate 275 in Tampa, Florida to Interstate 95 at Daytona Beach, Florida . It also has the Florida Department of Transportation designation of State Road 400, but only a small...

 and 275
Interstate 275 (Florida)
Interstate 275 in Florida serves the Tampa Bay metropolitan area, measuring 60.696 miles in length. The southern terminus is I-75 near Palmetto, just five miles east of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a toll bridge crossing Tampa Bay. The highway passes through St...

 further deteriorated historic areas such as Ybor City and West Tampa.

There were four attempts to consolidate Tampa with Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County, Florida
As of the census of 2000, there were 998,948 people, 391,357 households, and 255,164 families residing in the county. The population density was 951 people per square mile . There were 425,962 housing units at an average density of 405 per square mile...

 (1967, 1970, 1971, and 1972). All of which failed at the ballot box with the biggest margin was 33,160 for and 73,568 against the proposed charter in 1972.

These events also reflected on the city's population growth. Tampa grew very slowly in the 1960s to reach 277,714 in 1970. However, further problems in the 1970s lead to the first decline of the city's population in a century, falling to 271,523 in 1980. Tampa's national ranking dropped from 50th in 1970 to 53rd in 1980. In contrast, suburban areas such as Brandon
Brandon, Florida
Brandon is a census-designated place in Hillsborough County, Florida, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a total population of 103,483.-Founding:...

, Carrollwood
Carrollwood, Florida
Carrollwood is an unincorporated community in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. Although a separate community, it is a part of the census-designated place of Greater Carrollwood. The ZIP code for the community is 33618...

, and other areas of Hillsborough County experienced rapid growth.

New Tampa annexation


The biggest development of the city was the development of New Tampa
New Tampa
New Tampa is an area in Florida that encompasses both a area within the corporate limits of the City of Tampa, as well as a larger land area that is in unincorporated Hillsborough, but retains a Tampa mailing address. The incorporated portion of "New Tampa" that lies within the city limits of...

 that started in 1988 when the city annexed a 24-square mile (mostly rural) area between I-275
Interstate 275 (Florida)
Interstate 275 in Florida serves the Tampa Bay metropolitan area, measuring 60.696 miles in length. The southern terminus is I-75 near Palmetto, just five miles east of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a toll bridge crossing Tampa Bay. The highway passes through St...

 and I-75
Interstate 75
Interstate 75 is a major north–south Interstate Highway in the Great Lakes and Southeastern regions of the United States. It travels from State Road 826 and State Road 924 in Hialeah, Florida to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, at the Ontario, Canada, border...

, increasing the total land area from 84 square miles (218 km²) to nearly 109. Despite this, the city only grew three percent in the 1980s to reach 280,015 in 1990.

Early 21st century


On January 5, 2002, just four months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 15-year-old amateur pilot Charles Bishop flew a Cessna
Cessna
The Cessna Aircraft Company is an airplane manufacturing corporation headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Their main products are general aviation aircraft. Although they are the most well known for their small, piston-powered aircraft, they also produce business jets. The company is a subsidiary...

 plane into the 42-story Bank of America Plaza building in downtown Tampa. Bishop died, but there were no other injuries (because the crash occurred on a Saturday, when few people were in the building). A suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 note found in the wreckage expressed support for Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

. Bishop had been taking a prescription
Prescription drug
A prescription medication is a licensed medicine that is regulated by legislation to require a medical prescription before it can be obtained. The term is used to distinguish it from over-the-counter drugs which can be obtained without a prescription...

 medicine for acne
Acne vulgaris
Acne vulgaris is a common human skin disease, characterized by areas of skin with seborrhea , comedones , papules , pustules , Nodules and possibly scarring...

 called Accutane that may have had the side effect
Adverse effect (medicine)
In medicine, an adverse effect is a harmful and undesired effect resulting from a medication or other intervention such as surgery.An adverse effect may be termed a "side effect", when judged to be secondary to a main or therapeutic effect. If it results from an unsuitable or incorrect dosage or...

 of depression
Clinical depression
Major depressive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities...

 or severe psychosis. His family later sued Hoffman-La Roche, the company that makes Accutane, for $70 million; however, an autopsy found no traces of the drug in the teenager's system.

Stormy weather


The 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season
2004 Atlantic hurricane season
The 2004 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, 2004, and lasted until November 30, 2004. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin...

 was historically busy for all of Florida, including Tampa. Tampa was affected by a record four hurricanes that year; Frances
Hurricane Frances
Hurricane Frances was the sixth named storm, the fourth hurricane, and the third major hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. The system crossing the open Atlantic during mid to late August, moving to the north of the Lesser Antilles while strengthening. Its outer bands affected Puerto...

, Jeanne
Hurricane Jeanne
Hurricane Jeanne was the deadliest hurricane in the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the tenth named storm, the seventh hurricane, and the fifth major hurricane of the season, as well as the third hurricane and fourth named storm of the season to make landfall in Florida...

, Charley
Hurricane Charley
Hurricane Charley was the third named storm, the second hurricane, and the second major hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. Charley lasted from August 9 to August 15, and at its peak intensity it attained 150 mph winds, making it a strong Category 4 hurricane on the...

, and to a lesser extent, Ivan
Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Ivan was a large, long-lived, Cape Verde-type hurricane that caused widespread damage in the Caribbean and United States. The cyclone was the ninth named storm, the sixth hurricane and the fourth major hurricane of the active 2004 Atlantic hurricane season...

.

The eyes of both Jeanne and Frances passed within a few miles of Tampa as they slashed their way across the state from the east coast. Charley was forecast to make a direct hit on Tampa Bay from the south (the worst-case scenario for local flooding). But the storm made a sudden and unexpected turn to the northeast and brought only tropical storm force winds to Tampa, devastating the Ft. Myers/Port Charlotte
Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Charlotte is a census-designated place in Charlotte County, Florida, United States. The population was 46,451 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Punta Gorda Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

 area instead. Ivan roared past the Florida gulf coast on its way to landfall near the Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

/Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 border, passing near enough to bring high seas and stormy conditions to the Tampa area.


Downtown revitalization


Former Tampa mayor Pam Iorio
Pam Iorio
Pam Iorio is an American politician and author, who served as mayor of Tampa, Florida from 2003 to 2011.Her first book, Straightforward, is expected to be released in November 2011...

 has made the redevelopment of Tampa's downtown
Downtown Tampa
Image:Tampa_Skyline.jpg|thumb|right|350px|Downtown Tampa looking from the Hillsborough Riverpoly 2403 537 2441 500 2488 483 2516 455 2566 439 2597 410 2649 390 2682 358 2803 315 2949 342 2956 362 3068 383 3074 406 3202 431 3204 447 3332 473 3350 484 3485 1616 2446 1587 Wachovia Centerpoly 1745 1216...

, especially bringing in residents to the decidedly non-residential area, a priority. Several residential and mixed-development high-rises are in various stages of planning or construction, and a few have already opened. Another of Mayor Iorio's initiatives is the Tampa Riverwalk, a plan which intends to make better use of the land along the Hillsborough River in downtown where Tampa began. Several museums are part of the plan, including the Tampa Bay History Center, the Tampa Children's Museum, and the recently opened Tampa Museum of Art.

See also


Other articles which contain relevant history sections.
  • History of Florida
    History of Florida
    The history of Florida can be traced back to when the first Native Americans began to inhabit the peninsula as early as 14,000 years ago. Recorded history begins with the arrival of Europeans to Florida, beginning with the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who explored the area in 1513...

  • History of Ybor City
    History of Ybor City
    Ybor City is a historic neighborhood in Tampa, Florida, located just northeast of downtown. It was founded as an independent town in 1885 by a group of cigar manufacturers led by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and was annexed by Tampa in 1887...

  • Mayors of Tampa, Florida
  • History of Brandon
  • Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office


Articles on specific events in Tampa history
  • Great Gale of 1848
    Great Gale of 1848
    The Great Gale of 1848, also known as the Tampa Bay hurricane of 1848 and originally as the Great Gale of '48, was a tropical cyclone that struck Florida in September 1848. It affected the Tampa Bay Area September 23–25, 1848. It crossed the Florida Peninsula to cause damage on the east coast on or...

  • Battle of Fort Brooke
    Battle of Fort Brooke
    The Battle of Fort Brooke was a minor engagement fought October 16–18, 1863, near Tampa, Florida, during the American Civil War.Two Union Navy ships, USS Tahoma and USS Adela, bombarded Fort Brooke on October 16, 1863, as a diversion, while a landing party under Acting Master T.R...

  • Battle of Tampa
    Battle of Tampa
    The Battle of Tampa was a minor engagement of the American Civil War fought June 30 – July 1, 1862, between the United States Navy and a Confederate artillery company charged with protecting the ports of Tampa, a small but notable trade hub for the Confederacy, now facing a full-scale Union...

  • Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921
    Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921
    The Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921 was the third hurricane, second major hurricane, and final storm of an inactive 1921 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the first hurricane to directly make landfall in Tampa Bay, Florida and one of several notable hurricanes to make landfall in Florida...

  • Tampa Riots
    Tampa Riots
    The city of Tampa, Florida, has experienced five instances of rioting.-Tampa Riots of 1967:On June 11, 1967, 19 year old Martin Chambers was suspected of robbing a camera store. Chambers ran from police near Nebraska and Harrison Streets and was shot in the back and died...

  • 2002 Tampa plane crash
    2002 Tampa plane crash
    The 2002 Tampa plane crash was an incident that occurred on Saturday, January 5, 2002. The incident occurred when a high-school student of Eastlake High in Tarpon Springs, Florida, Charles J. Bishop, inspired by the September 11 attacks, stole a Cessna 172 and crashed it into the side of the Bank...

  • Oaklawn Cemetery
    Oaklawn Cemetery
    Oaklawn Cemetery was Tampa, Florida's first public burial ground. The location was deeded in the mid-19th century. It was named as the final resting place for "White and Slave, Rich and Poor". The First Mayor of the City of Tampa Judge Joseph B. Lancaster is buried at Oaklawn along with pirates,...



Other articles of interest
  • Tampa-Fort Brooke
    Tampa-Fort Brooke, Florida
    Tampa-Fort Brooke was a single census area recorded by the United States Census Bureau during the 1850 federal census with the title Tampa, including Fort Brooke. It was designated to include Tampa and Fort Brooke, which were separate entities. The population recorded was 974...

    , a single census unit
    Census tract
    A census tract, census area, or census district is a geographic region defined for the purpose of taking a census. Usually these coincide with the limits of cities, towns or other administrative areas and several tracts commonly exist within a county...

     recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau
    United States Census Bureau
    The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

     in 1850
    United States Census, 1850
    The United States Census of 1850 was the seventh census of the United States. Conducted by the Bureau of the Census on June 1, 1850, it determined the resident population of the United States to be 23,191,876 — an increase of 35.9 percent over the 17,069,453 persons enumerated during the 1840...

    .

External links


  • Tampa Bay History Center
  • Tampa, Florida, by the Jewish Virtual Library
    Jewish Virtual Library
    Jewish Virtual Library is an online encyclopedia published by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise . Established in 1993, it is a comprehensive website covering Israel, the Jewish people, and Jewish culture.-History:...

  • Tampa Bay History Collection, includes historical photographs (University of South Florida
    University of South Florida
    The University of South Florida, also known as USF, is a member institution of the State University System of Florida, one of the state's three flagship universities for public research, and is located in Tampa, Florida, USA...

    )