The director of the North Carolina Museum of Forestry answered that very question during his well-received presentation to the Topsail Island Historical Society at its March luncheon.
The nickname evolved, Harry Warren explained, from the state’s earliest history of the production of naval stores. The vast pine forests of the state were used to produce tar, pitch and turpentine for the British navy to use in ship building. The tar and pitch were used to paint the bottom of wooden British ships to seal the ship and to prevent shipworms from damaging the hull. The long leaf pines were chopped and used to make wood piles which were then burned. The heat produces resin for tar, pitch and turpentine. For several years the state shipped more than 100,000 barrels of tar and pitch annually to
There are numerous stories and legends about the meaning of the term Tar Heels. It is a nickname applied to
The Historical Society of Topsail Island welcomes guests and new members. Contact topsailislandhistoricalsociety.org for more information. For information about the Missiles and
The next luncheon meeting will be held on April 11 at