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TURPENTINE, TEXAS. Turpentine was on the Burr's Ferry, Browndell and Chester Railroad seventy miles north Beaumont in northwestern Jasper County. The area in the heart of the dense forests of northern Jasper County was opened to major lumber interests with the construction of the railroad from Rockland, Tyler County, to Aldridge, Jasper County, in 1907. By the following year the Western Naval Stores Company had secured a "turpentine franchise and lease" south and east of Aldridge. In 1909 the railroad was extended to the company's camp, four miles east of Aldridge, named Turpentine. A post office was opened the same year to serve the men working the facility.
The rail line was acquired by the Texas and New Orleans Railroad in 1915 and extended from Turpentine another nine miles east, toward the Angelina River, in 1922. However, bridging the Angelina proved too expensive, and the Turpentine-Angelina spur was abandoned within three years. With most of the local timber cut by the mid-1920s, the facilities at Turpentine became unnecessary as workers moved to other areas. The post office was discontinued in 1926, and the Rockland to Turpentine railroad followed suit the next year. The abandoned site was not named on 1984 highway or geological survey maps.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:S. G. Reed, A History of the Texas Railroads (Houston: St. Clair, 1941; rpt., New York: Arno, 1981). Charles P. Zlatkovich, Texas Railroads (Austin: University of Texas Bureau of Business Research, 1981).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wooster, "Turpentine, TX," accessed April 23, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvt71.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.