Historic Markers Across Florida

Clara C. Frye April 17, 1872-April 8, 1936

Marker ID:  
Location: On Spruce Cove, Tampa, FL
County: Hillsborough
Coordinates: N 27° 57.491    W 082° 28.067
  27.95818333    -82.46778333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMT8ZN


Clara C. Frye April 17, 1872-April 8, 1936

When the 20th century began, medical care facilities for Tampa's black citizens were still non-existent. Clara Frye began caring for the sick and injured blacks in her three-room home in 1908. The financial struggles she faced on trying to provide the semblance of a hospital for them was met with greatly needed donations of dishes, bed linens, tools and various other articles from the St. James Episcopal Church.

Clara Frye built the first hospital for blacks in 1923. This two-story, frame building on Lamar Street was open for more than 28 years. Patients were never asked for payment.

In 1928, the City of Tampa purchased the hospital, and ten years later opened the Clara C. Frye Memorial Hospital in Roberts City, on the west bank the Hillsborough River. Much of the money to build the 62-bed hospital came from the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). Political and economic struggles, lack of funding, overcrowding and insufficient staffing led to the closing of the hospital and the demolition of the building in 1973. Howard W. Blake High School was later built on the site.

This marker is dedicated to the memory of Clara C. Frye, who committed her life to providing medical