Pine gum and turpentine have been harvested from the expansive pine forests of the eastern U.S. since early European settlers arrived. This forest product would develop in to an important industry based in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.
[Turpentine trees cut with ‘Catfaces’ where pine tar or pine gum is harvested to make turpentine; Central Florida turpentine farm, c. 1930’s **Photo courtesy and property of the Florida Memory Project**]
[**Photo courtesy and property of the Florida Memory Project**]
From 1909-1923, Florida would experience a turpentine boom, leading the nation in pine gum production. Many camps for workers popped up all over North Central Florida during this period.
[Central Florida turpentine camp c. 1920’s **Photo courtesy and property of the Florida Memory Project**]
[Worker’s at a Central Florida turpentine still c. early 1900’s **Photo courtesy and property of the Florida Memory Project**]
Built by Cecil Pardee on behalf of D.R. Zetrouer for workers at his turpentine still are these simple shacks, three of about seven still standing from one such camp.
[Marion County, FL c. early 1900’s]
In the midst of hotel construction, this small town was hit by a freeze that devastated area crops. Just one year later, a second freeze drove what remained of the agricultural-based industry elsewhere. The hotel closed its doors to guests in 1964 and the last train through town came and went 12 years later.
[Marion County, FL]