STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE: TAPPING OF THE PINE TREES BY THE
AMBASSADOR EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS CLUB FOR THE HARNETT COUNTY HISTORICAL
THE TURPENTINE INDUSTRY
pine tree influenced much of the early history of the area that later
the 1800's much of the area around Angier was covered with large
short-leaf and long-leaf pines.
people derived a livelihood from the turpentine industry. Every spring
when the days became balmy, workers would go out and box the pines to
get the turpentine. A gash was made about 18 inches from the ground with
a special ax and the tree hollowed out underneath to form a
"box" for collecting turpentine.
a week the workers would return to continue the drainage. Turpentine
derived from the pine the first year was nearly colorless, and about the
thickness of heavy syrup. This liquid was dipped out with a dipper,
placed in wooden barrels and sold to the distillery, which converted the
liquid to medicinal spirits of turpentine. The distillery operated much
like a liquor still. The amber residue known as resin, was sold to
waterproof ropes, or coat violin stings. Turpentine was also used in the
cement and paint industries.
second year workers returned to the tree and slashed the tree higher up
and bled the tree again. This was called a "yellow dip"
because of its yellow color. It was not as valuable as the colorless sap
drained from the first cut. A pine could be bled for turpentine for five
or six years.
last turpentine derived from the tree was called "scape". When
the worker scraped the whole inside of a tree he got the remaining
turpentine that had oozed out. This was the least valuable of all.
and pitch extracted from kilns was also a part of the turpentine
industry, which is officially known as "naval stores." Tar was
once heavily used to coat leaks in sailing ships.
the late 1800's Mr. Jacob C. Williams of Angier, through whose farm the
Durham and Southern Railroad ran, owned a turpentine distillery on the
corner of Broad and Lillington Street. Mr. Kit Moore, father of the late
Nan Moore, and of Mrs. Corneila Wimberly, was the distiller. The
distillery operated much in the same manner as a whiskey still. It had a
large hopper with cover. The raw turpentine was placed inside and
underneath the hopper a fire was built. This created steam and sweated
out the spirits of turpentine. The resin was not very valuable and often
was disposed of as waste. However, it was useful in starting fires in
the fire places.
hauled their turpentine to Angier in barrels weighing from two hundred
eight to three hundred pounds and were paid about $2 to $3 per barrel
for their efforts. Mr. Williams, after the distilling process was
completed, would have the spirits of turpentine hauled to Raleigh to
market. He often swapped this for goods to sell in his country store.
Turpentine was used for medicinal purposes and also was used in
the ridge of pines from the Cape Fear to the Neuse rivers had been
slashed, a newly invented power saw provided a means to cut the pines
for lumber. This new industry brought the railroad to Angier to haul out
the logs and increased the profits for all concerned.
Ambassador Extension Homemakers Club, Angier made the square that
depicts turpentine workers.
Compiled by Lois
Byrd from: The Voice of Yesteryear, a history of Angier, North
Carolina, 1969 Quilt Square 10, Row 2
applique by: Lois Hughes and Avis Hall, members of the Ambassador
Extension Homemakers Club