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

Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge

 
 
Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, May 30, 2018
1. Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge Marker
Inscription.  Fortune and Benjamin Taylor were brought to Florida from South Carolina in the 1850s. They were owned by the Howell family. At the end of the Civil War, the newly freed couple were among the first African Americans to legally marry. Freedom came to Tampa's enslaved African Americans on May 5, 1864; Benjamin and Fortune wed on that same date in 1866.

On January 20, 1868 Benjamin claimed a thirty-three acre homestead on the east side of the Hillsborough River. Together, the couple tended orchards of oranges, guavas and peaches. After Benjamin's death in 1869, Fortune was granted homestead to the property on July 1, 1875. The street that ran through the property from the river to Oaklawn Cemetery, was eventually named for her. The Fortune Street Bridge was built in 1892 in order to promote the struggling cigar industry in West Tampa. Financed by Hugh C. Macfarlane, the bridge connected Fortune Street to the east and Arch Street to the west. With the bridge in place, cigar factories flourished and the development of West Tampa began.

Fortune Taylor became a successful businesswoman. She married her second husband, Edward Ranson
Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, May 30, 2018
2. Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge Marker
in the 1880s. She lived her final years on Spring Street and died September 11, 1906.
 
Erected 2018 by Hillsborough County Historical Advisory Council, Friends of Madame Taylor and Bill Wagner.
 
Location. 27° 57.275′ N, 82° 27.845′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is at the intersection of West Laurel Street and Doyle Carlton Drive, on the right when traveling west on West Laurel Street. Marker is located in a section of Riverwalk Park along the Hillsborough River. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tampa FL 33602, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Billy Graham Began Here (approx. ¼ mile away); Roberts City (approx. ¼ mile away); First United Methodist Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Historic Harlem Academy/School #2 (approx. 0.4 miles away); Oaklawn Cemetery (was approx. 0.4 miles away but has been reported permanently removed. ); Oaklawn and St. Louis Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); C. Cecilia Morse (approx. 0.4 miles away); Kennedy (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
 
Also see . . .  Tampa moves to put freed slave Fortune Taylor’s name back on historic bridge. (Submitted on July 17, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
 
Categories. African AmericansBridges & ViaductsSettlements & Settlers
 
Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, May 30, 2018
3. Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge
 

More. Search the internet for Madame Fortune Taylor Bridge.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 18, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 17, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 102 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 17, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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