Pulpwood Industry

It was at an Independence Day celebration in Hinesville in 1932 that the people of Liberty County heard about experiments being conducted by Charles A. Herty, a chemist, in Savannah, Georgia, to perfect the manufacture of paper from pine trees.


Herty made a speech that day and spoke of his work and dreams for the future. He reminded his audience that Liberty County had approximately 400,000 acres of pine forests. He maintained that the county could produce 800,000 cords or more of pine wood a year, which at $5 a cord would aggre­gate $4 million a year, twice the size of the tax-assessed value of all property in the county.


Herty said that paper mills could be constructed in the South which would create a market for pine trees, and devel­op the growing of pine trees by Liberty County landowners into a major money crop. He pointed out that there was not a single newspaper printed in Georgia at that time using paper produced in the U.S.


He urged Liberty County landowners to cultivate pine trees as a crop, like corn, tobacco, and cotton. He asked women and children in the audience to protect their wood­lands from fire and warned them that when the woods burned, their heritage was destroyed. Telephones were later introduced into rural areas of Liberty County for the pur­pose of reporting forest fires.


There can be no doubt but that the pulpwood industry was born in Liberty County that day in 1932. By 1937 the dreams of Herty were well on their way to coming true. Reforestation became a new and vital word in the economic language of Liberty County.