Tampa HistoryTampa People

Vincent Sampling Wrapper 1995

Sunday, May 7, 2006, Tampa’s legendary cigar industry fell silent for just a moment as a sign of respect for the death of one of its last chinchaleros–Vincent Ruilova, age 92. He was better known as Majomia, a Spanish nickname given to him by his friends meaning impatient or restless, which described him perfectly.

Tampa BaseballTampa HistoryTampa People

DeSoto Park, Tampa.

“Janie, come on, get up!” she said shaking me roughly out of a lazy Saturday morning reverie. Blinking sleepy eyes, I groaned in short-lived protest and then rolled out of bed. The gruff intruder on this humid summer morning was not my mother, or one of my siblings. It was the local park director, Mochine Fernandez (pronounced “Mo-cheen”), rousing me and my two sisters to play a softball game.

Tampa FoodTampa History

Deviled Crab Man

Several of Tampa’s most notable culinary creations are also reminders of how difficult life could be. The elongated loaves of Cuban bread betray a history of hunger and rationing during Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spain. The Cuban sandwich turned those thin loaves into symbols of plenty. Tampa’s deviled crab croquettes tell a similar story of want and abundance.

Tampa HistoryYbor City

tobacco pioneers

In the 1800s and 1900s millions of immigrants came to this country hoping to escape religious and social discrimination, political unrest and financial struggles. In the following stories you will learn about three of these immigrants who believed America would provide them with unlimited opportunities. Their individual achievements would ultimately impact the cigar industry in Tampa and in the world.