North Carolina, the Tar Heel state. This is the state I call home, and I love it here. I was born here, raised here, and I’m most likely going to die here in the old North State. What’s weird though is, even though I was born and raised in the state of North Carolina, I never realized why it was known as the Tar Heel state. So I decided to do a little research, and down below you can read what I learned.
Seems how the state came to be known as the Tar Heel state is shrouded in mystery. No one knows for sure why it’s called that, but there are some pretty good ideas as to how the name came about. One of them has to do with the Civil War.
Because North Carolina showed such a dedication to the rebel cause during the Civil War, some historians claim the state got its nickname because residents of the state were such allies that getting them to turn against the rebellion was much like trying to remove tar from one’s heels.
Other historians have a different argument. During colonial times, the state of North Carolina was a big supplier of naval supplies primarily used in the construction of ships. Among the supplies were wood from the abundant supply of pine trees in the state, and the tar and turpentine produced by the same trees which was used to coat would use for shipbuilding as a way of keeping pests out of the wood. the people who made this tar were called tar boilers, and would occasionally get tar on the body in the process, including on their feet.
Whatever the source of the nickname, it doesn’t really seem to matter. The nickname has stuck, and people who call the state home are proud of the nickname and the history behind it.