Sanford in Seminole County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Shortly before the turn of the century until the late 1930’s, Seminole County’s pine lands were dotted throughout with numerous small turpentine distilleries or “stills.” These stills produced turpentine, tar, pitch, and rosin grouped under the name of “naval stores”. This term refers to the use of these products as caulking for seems in wooden ships and treatment of their ropes.
As wooden ships were phased out in the late 19th century the increased need for turpentine in solvents, paints, and as Spirits of Turpentine for medicinal purposes kept naval store’s products in demand.
Beginning in the 1870’s through the late 1930’s lumbering and turpentining became an important industry in Seminole County. Large numbers of workers were required to slash the pine trees, gather the gum in cups placed below the slash and transport it to the
Areas associated with the turpentine industry along the Wekiva River basin where Paola, Sylvan Lake, Markham, Glen Ethel/Island Lake and Longwood. To the east Geneva, Snow Hill, Gabriella and Chuluota rivaled the Wekiva River basin operations.
Names associated with the turpentine business in the Wekiva river basin area were: Markham, Overstreet Turpentine Company and the Spencer Turpentine Distillery, Musselwhite, Brown, McIntosh and Curry operated in the eastern part of the county.
To learn more about the slashing of pine trees, distilling the gum and the communities that supported this industry visit the turpentine display in the Museum of Seminole County History.
Erected by Seminole County.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Horticulture & Forestry • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 28° 48.108′ N, 81° 23.39′ W. Marker is in Sanford, Florida, in Seminole County. Marker can be reached from Lake Markham Road 0.1 miles east of South Sylvan Lake Drive, on the right when traveling north. Located in Sylvan Lake Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 845 Lake Markham Rd, Sanford FL 32771, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sylvan Lake Park (within shouting distance Michelle Akers (within shouting distance of this marker); Markham (approx. 0.9 miles away); Bookertown (approx. 3.8 miles away); Upsala Swedish Community (approx. 4˝ miles away); Mayfair Country Club (approx. 4˝ miles away); Lake Monroe Bridge (approx. 4.7 miles away); First Presbyterian Church of Lake Mary (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sanford.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 18, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 18, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.