Where did North Carolina Tar Heels get their name?

 Where did North Carolina Tar Heels get their name?

Where did North Carolina Tar Heels get their name?
Nort Carolina Tar Heels Concept Helmet

The origins of the Tar Heel nickname trace back to North Carolina's prominence from the mid-18th through the 19th century as a producer of turpentine, tar, pitch, and other materials from the state's plentiful pine trees. "Tar Heel" (and a related version, "Rosin Heel") was often applied to the poor White laborers who worked to produce tar, pitch, and turpentine. The nickname was embraced by Confederate North Carolina soldiers during the Civil War and grew in popularity as a nickname for the state and its citizens following the war.

Here are some possible origins of the name:

  • River fording by General Cornwallis: According to this legend, the troops of British General Cornwallis during the American Revolutionary War were fording what is now known as the Tar River between Rocky Mount and Battleboro when they discovered that tar had been dumped into the stream to impede the crossing of British soldiers. When they finally got across the river, they found their feet completely black with tar. Thus, the soldiers observed that anyone who waded through North Carolina rivers would acquire "tar heels."
  • Workers in the naval stores industry: North Carolina was a major producer of naval stores, which are products made from pine trees, such as tar, pitch, and turpentine. Workers in the naval stores industry often went barefoot, and their feet would become covered in tar. This led to the nickname "Tar Heels."
  • Civil War soldiers: During the Civil War, North Carolina soldiers were known for their toughness and determination. They were often called "Tar Heels" by their opponents.

Regardless of the origin, the name "Tar Heels" has been a part of North Carolina culture for over 200 years. It is a source of pride for the state's residents, and it is a reminder of the state's rich history and tradition.

north carolina tar heels merch

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post