Francisco Menendez


Little is known of Francisco Menendez’s early life, but it is likely he was of Portuguese and Angolan heritage. He was captured by slave traders and brought to South Carolina. Eventually he escaped and reached Saint Augustine where in theory a pledge of allegiance to the Spanish Monarchy, conversion to Catholicism and 4 years in […]

The Real McCoy


Bill McCoy was born in New York and graduated first in his class from Pennsylvania Nautical School. Around 1900, the McCoy family moved to Holly Hill, FL and started a boat yard. By 1918, having built yachts for the likes of Carnegie and Vanderbilt, he had earned a reputation for being a skilled craftsman. During Prohibition, […]

James McKay: Tampa’s Fiercest Mayor

James Mckay

When James McKay arrived in Tampa it was just a tiny village with thatched huts and livestock roaming the streets. Before his death in 1876, McKay, acting as mayor (the only not to be a US citizen), would help establish Tampa as a bustling seaport. Mckay was first successful in the export of Florida Cattle […]