Our mission is to preserve and research the history of this turpentine town that started in 1898 and transitioned to a lumber mill with a railroad spur to it. Etna was on early 1900's maps, had a post office and commissary that also served the local population until 1926, some 50 shanties, twin turpentine still, sink for water, and has oak draped roads that lead to the long leaf pine forests surrounding it. Debt-peonage labor was used at first but the lumber mill utilized the harsh leased-convict labor system. Most workers were African American so Etna and the naval store industry are important to their history. We hope to build an interpretative park with informational kiosks telling the story of this early Post Civil-War industry in the South. Etna was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 because of its local, state, and national importance. There are no other such sites in the country. It is located in the Withlacoochee State Forest in Citrus County Florida.
Present efforts are to keep it from being destroyed by the extension of the Suncoast Parkway that could easily be routed around it and as stated in the newest edition of the state forest's 10-Year management plan. We have a team of lawyers working on this effort. If we are able to preserve it, we plan to constuct an interpretative trail through the town that will have informational kiosks about Etna and the naval store industry in the South following the Civil War. This was the major industry in the South after the War that few know little about. The site is easily accessed from a county road near Homosassa, Florida so will be a part of the many ecotourism opportunities in the county.