In 1885, Vicente Martínez Ybor purchased 40 acres of land northeast of Tampa, and there he began the cigar industry that would soon draw thousands of immigrants to Ybor City. The diverse population of the area, known as Tampa’s “Latin Quarter,” came from Cuba, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Eastern Europe. Some residents worked in the various stages of cigar manufacturing, from picking tobacco to constructing cigar boxes, while others operated the local shops and businesses. A unique culture grew from the intermingling of the various traditions and languages found in Ybor City, and residents proudly proclaimed themselves Los Tampaños (or Tampanian). A strong sense of community has been an ever-present part of Ybor City, through the politically charged years of Cuba’s fight for independence as well as the comfortable days of social clubs and dinners.