Yaryan/Phoenix Naval Store

 Located in Gulfport’s Turkey Creek community, this industrial site that derived products from pine sap, was once an essential part of the timber industry in South Mississippi. Established in 1909 as the Yaryan Naval Store, it was later sold and became know as the Phoenix Naval Store. The plant thrived until a fatal explosion in the 1943 killed 11 men. At this time the plant closed and was later rebuilt. Following the explosion, the office was moved to its current site and converted into a residential building. By the time it was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina, it had been vacant for nearly 20 years.

The Yaryan/Phoenix Naval Store Office is one of the last vestiges of a thriving timber industry on the coast which employed many African Americans. Local community leadership has been actively seeking funding to restore the building. In 2015, the site was listed on the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in Mississippi.

On March 12, 2018, the National Park Service announced that The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain was awarded an African American Civil Rights Grants to restore the Yaryan/Phoenix Naval Stores Office as a community center for the Gulfport’s Turkey Creek.  The restoration of the building was completed in 2021.