The Italian Club Cemetery was established in 1896 following the purchase of land from the Armwood Family, Tampaís pioneer African-American family. The first recorded Italian immigrate buried in the cemetery was in 1893. Buried among the members of the Italian Club is Blanche Armwood (1890-1939), a nationally known educator.

 

The Italian Club Cemetery includes a parcel belonging to the Societa de Mutuo Soccorso (Mutual Aid Society). Throughout the cemetery are the imported ceramic photograph markers on the headstones with many inscribed in Sicilian and Italian to pay homage to Sicily, where the stonecutters perfected their craft in granite and marble. A cherished set of rituals governed the Italian funeral. Hundreds of people walked in a cortege, often pausing for a final tribute in front of the deceasedís house and the Italian Club where flags of Italy and the United States stood at half mast. A brass band led them to the cemetery followed by family and paesani (countrymen). This ritual celebrated the decedentís service to the community. In the early years, each club member contributed one dollar to the bereaved family. Later, the club established a $300 survivor benefit.

 

The Italian Club has a dedicated committee who oversee the day to day operations of the cemetery grounds and are currently reviewing a proposed Entrance Gate that could accommodate some of the immediate needs.  To view the study drawings click here.


"TOUR THE CEMETERY WITH SOME OF THESE PHOTOS AND STORIES"

 

THE CALTAGIRONE OBELISK

Construction photos for a granite obelisk & grave site.

 CAGNINA THE BILLIARD-MAN

The Story of Filippo Cagnina

 
 

PHOTOS OF CEMETERY

Used for a 2003 Grant Application

PHOTOS OF CEMETERY

2005 Sub-surface testing

 
 

For additional information about the Italian Club Cemetery please contact 813-248-3316.

 

RELATED LINKS:

HOME ITALIAN CLUB  |   CEMETERY SEARCH  |  ITALIAN CLUB EVENT PHOTOS  |  FERLITA.COM