Born in 1935 in rural Clinch County, Pat Brockinton still lives on the site of Dayton Turpentine Camp outside Fargo which she and her first husband, Robert Wetherington, took over from her father-in-law in 1955. The property has its original commissary, woods rider's home, and turpentine quarters, disintegrating reminders of the business which the Wetherington's closed in 1975. Although this project did not emphasize the experiences of turpentine owners and operators, Brockinton's story provides an interesting perspective on the role of a wife in a family turpentine operation. In addition to the traditional woman's role of child rearing, cooking, and keeping house, Pat worked in a variety of ways in the Wetherington turpentine operation. Much of this revolved around the commissary, which she would open for the hands when they needed something, and in care of the workers. The latter included driving them to doctors' appointments, fixing plates of food dispensed at Christmas and New Year's, and providing medical care and advice. In the medical arena she was perhaps atypical: Pat had skill in both traditional medicine and through a nurse's aid certificate. She also assisted her husband in the yearly wintertime burn, and, for three years, in driving the truck to deliver barrels of gum to the Langdale still in Valdosta. Pat's first husband died in 1992. She married Ray Brockinton in 1996.
Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:
Oral history interview with Patricia "Pat" Wetherington Brockinton, September 4, 2003. Fargo (Ga.), Dayton Turpentine Camp site. Fieldworker: Laurie Sommers. Audio file digitized from cassette tape. Part of the South Georgia Folklife Project at Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections. Topics include Turpentine and Turpentine industry and trade.