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In 1885, the city of Ybor was brought to life through the cigar industry. Founded by cigar manufacturers, supported by cigar factories, and built to foster a thriving business community, Ybor was the cigar capital of the United States. While today you may not see the booming cigar factories of our founding, the unique culture and history are built into every brick and stone. Yet, one family is ready to bring Ybor’s history to life through the restoration of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company’s El Rejol factory. Located on North 16th, the newly renovated factory and museum celebrates 125 years of producing high-quality cigars and the story of Ybor City.   

Visitors to the factory can enjoy the three-floor museum, which tells the story of Julius Caeser Newman (J.C.) who learned to roll cigars at just 14 years old. After moving from J.C.’s life in Ohio, visitors experience the rise of the Cigar City here in Ybor including the districts founding by Vincent Ybor. After experiencing the museum, visitors are given a VIP peek at the cigar-making process including antique machines that have made cigars for more than 100 years. This is a window into Ybor history that should not be missed!  

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