“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Hugh C. Macfarlane



—Founder of West Tampa —

Hugh C. Macfarlane Marker image. Click for full size.
1. Hugh C. Macfarlane Marker
Image appears courtesy of
Inscription.     His was a life of achievements – a great lawyer, pioneer land developer, public servant and a Tampa booster. Had the honor of serving as State's Attorney, Tampa City Attorney, Port Commissioner, and Supt. of Public Works. In 1892, converted 200 acres of an alligator infested wilderness into the City of West Tampa. Donated lands and buildings to cigar manufacturers, constructed the Fortune St. bridge and a streetcar line. In 1908, donated 40 acres for the creation of Macfarlane Park.

    Macfarlane had "the canniness of a Scot, the resourcefulness of an American and the genuine wit and wisdom of a Florida Cracker."
Erected 1985 by the Tampa Historical Society.
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 27° 57.513′ N, 82° 29.697′ W. Marker was in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker was on George Guida Memorial Drive west of North MacDill Avenue. Click for map. The marker was located in Macfarlane Park, a municipal park of the City of Tampa. It was mounted near the far end of George Guida Memorial Drive, in front of the hilltop pavilion. Marker was at or near this postal address: 1700 North MacDill Avenue, Tampa FL 33607, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within
Hugh C. Macfarlane Marker (Missing) image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, September 5, 2011
2. Hugh C. Macfarlane Marker (Missing)
The marker is no longer attached to its base and pole, seen here.
walking distance of this location. George Guida (a few steps from this marker); West Tampa Centennial (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Andres Diaz Building (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Beginning of the Cigar Industry in West Tampa (approx. ¾ mile away); Centro Español de West Tampa (approx. ¾ mile away); The West Tampa Boys Club (approx. 0.8 miles away); Academy of The Holy Names (approx. 0.9 miles away); Morgan Cigar Factory (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tampa.
More about this marker. The marker is presently missing, having been broken away from its base and the pole upon which it was mounted.

The marker was capped with the crest of the Tampa Historical Society.

Macfarlane Park, where the marker was erected, is operated by the City of Tampa, and includes recreational facilities and trails, a Senior Citizens Center, and the city's first universally accessible playground.
Regarding Hugh C. Macfarlane. Hugh C. Macfarlane was a native of Scotland who immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1865. He studied law at Boston University and practiced in Boston and New Orleans prior to moving to Tampa in 1884.

Macfarlane came to Tampa in time to witness the birth of Ybor City, the factory boom-town immediately northeast of downtown
Macfarlane Park Archway image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, September 5, 2011
3. Macfarlane Park Archway
Built in 1909, the archway serves as the main entrance to the park, which was created on land donated by Hugh Macfarlane.
Tampa. Born from the vision of Spanish immigrant and businessman Vicente Martinez-Ybor, the town lured major cigar producers along with thousands of immigrant factory workers, becoming a major center for cigar manufacturing. Macfarlane admired Ybor's success and made his own plans to develop a similar manufacturing center on Tampa's west side.

Macfarlane owned a large tract of mostly undeveloped land about 1.5 mile west of the city, and from this location in 1892 he offered free land and buildings to cigar manufacturers wishing to set up operations there. He added much needed infrastructure to make the area accessible, including the first bridge to cross the Hillsborough River and a streetcar line connecting the development to Tampa. Like Ybor, Macfarlane's efforts were extremely successful and transformative, such that by 1895, cigar factories and a resident population full of Cuban, Spanish, and Sicilian immigrants were thriving in the newly incorporated City of West Tampa.

Macfarlane donated land to the West Tampa government for the creation of a city park, and when it opened in 1909, it was named in his honor. He also was responsible for appealing to the Carnegie Foundation and convincing philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to build a West Tampa Library, which became the first public library in Hillsborough County.

Macfarlane's vision for West Tampa was that the city remain independent, unlike Ybor City which was annexed by Tampa in 1887. Several early attempts were made by the City of Tampa to annex West Tampa, but due to opposition led by Macfarlane, these were unsuccessful. West Tampa remained an independent city for the next three decades, and at one point was the fifth-largest city in Florida. By 1925, the two neighboring cities had grown such that a merger seemed appropriate, and West Tampa was annexed into Tampa.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .  "Macfarlane Park" pages at Three-pages of recent and historical photos, including a short biography of Hugh Macfarlane. (Submitted on November 18, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.) 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 581 times since then and 69 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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