By Ralphine Major
At times, it is hard to remember what the landscape was like before the much needed red lights. For years, it seemed nothing changed at the four-way stop at Harbison’s Crossroads. Our school bus ride always passed by the late Neva Cardwell’s home on the right before reaching the crossroads. Mrs. Cardwell was the much loved first grade teacher for over 40 years at Gibbs Elementary School. A couple of homes were on two corners of the intersection, and businesses were on the others. It was before Exon, Weigel’s, Walgreen’s, and Home Federal located on the four corners; before turn lanes, bicycle lanes, and red lights were installed; and before the dips turning either way onto Emory Road were raised. Newcomers to the community may not notice that many of the landmark homes and hayfields have been replaced with banks, businesses, and restaurants.
No longer do Gibbs residents have to go to Halls or toward Smithwood and Broadway for many of their needs. From the site of the new Gibbs Middle School all the way to the gap of the ridge, there is an influx of new businesses, including the IGA grocery store, drug stores, auto shops, beauty shops, a church, and even Rural Metro.
The new growth of the community is great. But somewhere in the pages of my mind, I look back on the crossroads that existed before the recent growth. I see a big yellow school bus pull up to the four-way stop before turning onto Tazewell Pike toward Gibbs High School. It is so important to remember where we came from to appreciate where we are today.
Harbison’s Crossroads has truly turned a page!