Read More: Naval Stores


Turpentine products were produced in smaller amounts until the beginning of the Antebellum period, when they became the principal export. The production of naval stores, the first major occupation to which the settlers turned, became the greatest source of income for the wealthy planter class and the county's most profitable export. From 1720 to the eve of the Civil War, North Carolina was the world leader in the production of naval stores. And, during those years, Onslow County frequently ranked as high as fourth place among North Carolina counties in production.