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Monday, Dec 22, 2014
Community News

Exhibits focus on Ybor immigrants, mutual aid societies

By LENORA LAKE
Special Correspondent

Published:

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— Two new exhibits at the Ybor City Museum State Park celebrate the immigrants who came to this part of Tampa between 1886 and 1930.

The exhibits, The Immigrant Groups of Ybor City and The Iconic Mutual Aid Societies, tell the stories of people coming from Spain, Cuba, Italy, Germany and elsewhere to work not just in the cigar factories but in the many businesses around them as well.

They also show the work of the organizations, which provided medical care and socialization for the various ethnic groups.

The new additions were dedicated July 19 at the museum, 1818 E. Ninth Ave., in a ceremony, followed by a reception.

The exhibits, a stand-alone multi-sided display and two window display cases, were made possible through bequest from Fernando Mesa in honor of Delia Sanchez. Sanchez, a long-time advocate for children, is credited with working with the late Rep. Sam Gibbons to bring Head Start to Tampa.

Sanchez and family members, including her son, Frank, were among about 50 guests attending the ceremony.

“We are delighted to see the exhibit come to life,” Frank Sanchez said. “I see this as a history of my family, a history of Tampa — and of the country.”

The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $4, with children 5 and younger admitted free.

For information, see www.ybormuseum.org or call (813) 247-6323.

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