Shipbuilding on the Jacksonville Shipyards site dates back to the 1850s when Jacob Brock opened the city’s first shipyard on East Bay Street. By 1918, the site employed 1,5000 and was home to the largest dry dock between Newport News and New Orleans. As late as 1977, JSI was Jacksonville’s largest civilian employer with 2,500 employees. Business declined until JSI closed for good in 1992, putting 200 employees out of work.
Baymeadows remained a largely rural area until the 1970s. Today, it’s a mature suburban area of Jacksonville that is known for its collection of Indian restaurants, markets and boutique shops.
West Jax Yards
Lackawanna’s Seaboard Air Line Shops and Terminals employed as many as 1,000 workers in 1909. Dating back to the late 19th century, the complex once included diesel locomotive shops, steam locomotive shops and a 165’ turntable. Operations ceased in 1985 and what remains of the adjacent West Jax Yard is primarily used for receiving Conrad Yelvington rock trains.