About This Lesson
The lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Ybor City Historic District" (1974 and 1990; with photographs), and other sources. It was written by the participants of the 46th National Preservation Conference, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Miami, Florida. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson provides a case study of an immigrant community of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and offers a contrast to the typical textbook coverage that emphasizes immigration from eastern and southern Europe to the big cities of the north. Ybor City deserves a place in the history of the immigrant experience. It was a multiethnic, multiracial, industrial community in the Deep Southa section that traditionally had little industry and few immigrants. This lesson plan also provides an understanding of Cuban immigrant efforts to free Cuba from Spain as well as their support and involvement in the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Time period: 1860s-1920s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To identify the role cigar making played in the creation of Ybor City.
2) To explain the cigar manufacturing process.
3) To describe the mutual aid societies that helped immigrants maintain their ethnic identity.
4) To explain the efforts of José Martí to involve Cuban immigrants in Ybor City in the Cuban rebellion against Spain.
5) To investigate the history of their own community and compare it with Ybor City.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The map and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) a map of Florida and Cuba;
2) three readings about Ybor City's cigar making industry, the ethnic makeup of the community, and José Martí;
3) a drawing that details cigar manufacturing;
4) seven historical photographs of Ybor City and some of its residents.
Visiting the site
Now surrounded by Tampa, Florida, Ybor City, a National Historic Landmark District, can be reached by exiting Interstate 4 to the south by the Nick Nuccio Parkway or by Nebraska Avenue. The historic district is bounded on the south by Palm Avenue. For additional information, contact the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, 1800 East Ninth Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605.