The Roadbuilders

In 2001, Billy Norrell, executive director for the Alabama Roadbuilders Association, commissioned J.J. Jaxon Company to create an award that would honor particular Associational members who were bulwarks of the Roadbuilding Industry and inductees into the Roadbuilders Hall of Fame.

An extensive research initiative ensued, unveiling a perpetual history timeline. The prevailing discovery revealed that U.S. history, in its entirety, unfolded in conjunction with the development of the roads which networked from the east coast westward. Since the people went where the roads went, the study of road building simultaneously unveiled an in-depth study of U.S. history initiated by the original Indian foot trails. These were enlarged by horse traffic and later blazed open by oxen and frontiersmen who would make way for covered wagons. Eventually the trails were permanently embedded by roadbuilders for the increasing numbers of westward-bound travelers.

The roadbuilding efforts from the early 1900s turned the trails into the early roads that predate our contemporary roads today.
The Roadbuilders Association chose to use this roadbuilding process as the ideal representation of roadbuilding since it “paved the way” for transportation of our nations future. Old black and white sepachrome photos documented the road building process though the exact equipment was vague and indecipherable. The Jaxon Company then turned to the Alabama Agricultural Museum at Landmark Park  in Dothan, Alabama where an original set of roadbuilding equipment, called a slipscoop, was housed. In order to recreate an exact replication of the road building process we needed a mock laborer as a model to stand in and reenact the original scenario. Lamar Dunn posed in authentic work overalls as if in actual operation of the slipscoop which was pulled by a life-size bronze mule. This road building setting was nothing new to Mr. Dunn since he actually built roads by this process himself decades ago for the Alabama D.O.T. The re-creation provided a living still life from which accurate photographs document every detail.

From the photos, the Jaxon Company designed an accurately detailed sculpture first in two dimension, then in clay, and finally in a cast bronze limited edition to be awarded to the honorees.

Every spring a limited edition of awards, accompanied by letters of commendation, from the Alabama Roadbuilders and the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, are shipped directly to the honorees.

We give every project the individual attention and research required for creating original and uniquely designed artforms suited to specific need and location.


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