“Naval Stores”                                                By Judy Cadenhead



Trees image     Two industries, naval stores and lumbering, brought economic growth to our area.   “Naval Stores” is a broad term which originally applied to the resin-based parts used in building and maintaining wooden sailing ships. 

     But, today the term applies to all products which come from pine sap. These products are used to manufacture soap, paint, varnish, shoe polish, roofing material and much more.

     The basic raw material is called pine resin. Once collected into wooden barrels, it was converted into two major products — rosin and turpentine. For many years rosin and turpentine were used in making common household products such as soap, paper, paint, and varnish. Today most rosin is altered to be used in a wide range of products that includes surface coatings, adhesives, printing inks, and rubber compounds.

     Turpentine, like rosin, has become widely used in fragrances, flavors, vitamins, household cleaning products, and medicines.  In northwest Florida in the 1920s and 1930s there were communities called “turpentine camps” where people collected sap from the pine trees, then poured it into wooden barrels.  These barrels were then taken to a larger plant to be used for making all kinds of things.  The workers were sometimes called “turpentiners” and they usually lived near the place where the turpentine was collected. That place became known as a turpentine camp.

 Baker Block Museum Educational Services. 2008. Baker, Florida