Key West connection: The twist that turned the cigar industry toward Tampa
Read the full story by Lloyd Sowers for FOX 13 News.
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Mapping the History of the Conch Republic: Key West and the Florida Keys have played an outsized role in Florida’s history. First appearing on a Spanish map in 1511, the Keys had been home to the Tequesta and Calusa for thousands of years. In more modern times, Key West was at one point the largest city in Florida, home to wreckers, cigar makers, fisherfolk, and other colorful characters. Historical and modern maps and charts chronicle that past–see them at the Tampa Bay History Center’s latest exhibit, Key West and the Florida Keys, in the Saunders Foundation Gallery.
European exploration of North America began in Florida in the 1500s, predating both the Jamestown and Plymouth Colonies. Printed in 1511, the Martyr Map even predates the arrival of Ponce de Leon.
Tom Touchton, the founder of the Touchton Map Library at the Tampa Bay History Center, discusses highlights from the collection.
The History Center is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
**Galleries are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas and open until 3 p.m. on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
**First responders and veterans may receive discounted admission at Visitor Services.