• More Than Concrete

    The Last Traces of a Story That Deserves to Be Told

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    The Heart and Soul of the J.A. Jones Shipyard

    During a research project on the women who helped build Liberty Ships at the J.A. Jones Shipyard, I learned that the slipways still existed. For many reasons (that I hope I can articulate), saving these ways became my mission. If you stick with me, I believe I can convince you that the future of the ways should be one of honor and protection ..... MORE

    Photo credit: Robert Bejil Productions via VisualHunt / CC BY
    The Genesis of Liberty Ships

    Building ships faster than the German U-boats could sink them...that's the simple way to sum up the purpose of the Emergency Shipbuilding Program. Aiding our allies, particularly Great Britain, became a national calling and created a lucrative occupation for thousands of Americans. Ultimately, Liberty Ships became a major focus of these efforts. .... MORE

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    Ida Mae Hall and the Women of the J.A. Jones Shipyard

    Ida Mae Hall was a real life Wendy the Welder, although most knew her simply as "MawMaw." This picture was taken in 1940, about 3 years before she started working for J.A. Jones, welding Liberty Ships during WWII. MawMaw was far from the only woman who worked on the slipways in Brunswick. The J.A. Jones Shipyard became a hub for the women who would pave the way for future generations. ..... MORE

  • The Ways: Then and Now

    Worth their weight in gold (and gravel)

    Prior to WWII, Brunswick, Georgia was a sleepy southern town still recovering from the throes of the Great Depression. That all changed when a man named Franklin Delano Roosevelt - 700 miles away in Washington D.C. - enacted the Emergency Shipbuilding Program. Brunswick was chosen as one of the sites for constructing those ships.


    In short time, a shipyard of enormous proportion was erected. Thousands and thousands of people flocked to the Brunswick, answering the call for their country and a well paying job. From 1943 to 1945, these men and women constructed 85 Liberty Ships, along with several others of a smaller design.


    Once WWII ended, the shipyard was deconstructed and demolished over time. The property changed hands several times. Eventually it was sold to a housing development company where the fate of the ways has remained in limbo.


    It is imperative that steps be taken to protect the ways from further degradation and potential destruction. The ways represent the enterprising spirit of the American people and, most importantly, the fight to defeat Nazism. These ways are more than concrete.

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    Today the ways are but a fragment of the glory and immensity of the J.A. Jones Shipyard. However, that fragment happens to be one of enormous importance. The six ways, the very cradles for Liberty Ships, still stand. It's not too late to protect them.


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