Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Hugh C. Macfarlane
— Founder of West Tampa —
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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1892.
Location. 27° 57.513′ N, 82° 29.697′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is on George Guida Memorial Drive west of North MacDill Avenue. The marker was located in Macfarlane Park, a municipal park Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1700 North MacDill Avenue, Tampa FL 33607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Guida (a few steps from this marker); West Tampa Centennial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Carver City-Lincoln Gardens (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Andres Diaz Building (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Beginning of the Cigar Industry in West Tampa (approx. ¾ mile away); West Tampa Free Public Library (approx. ¾ mile away); Centro Español de West Tampa (approx. ¾ mile away); Rough Rider Encampment (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
More about this marker. The marker was capped with the crest of the Tampa Historical Society.
Macfarlane Park, where the marker is 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 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
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,
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . . "Macfarlane Park" pages at Tampapix.com. 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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 17, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 852 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 17, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. 2. submitted on September 21, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. 3, 4. submitted on November 17, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.