Tar, Pitch and Turpentine: Naval Stores in North Carolina, 1705-1950

Bryan Avery with Tar Mound

Why are North Carolinians called Tar Heels? This living history program examines the practices and context of the North Carolina naval stores industry from its beginnings in 1705 through its decline in 1950. Avery and a team of volunteers operate a pine turpentine orchard and use this raw material to conduct live demonstrations of traditional tar-making process highlighting the history of the work and the context of tar’s production in North Carolina. The program also displays original tools and equipment used in the production of tar, pitch and turpentine as well as historical photos of the tar-making process. Avery’s products have been tested by Campbell University chemists for safety. This program is available in two formats:

1) A full demonstration requires an outdoor space where the tar mound can be build for the tar production demonstration.

2) This presentation can also be made indoors and would feature period tools, demonstration videos, photographs and samples of the tar products produced in Mr. Avery’s tar mounds.

DVD player. For a full demonstration a dirt mound and advanced preparation time at the site is required. A weekend event is recommended.