The reopening of Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert's Historical District caused me to reminisce about the changes Gilbert has seen through the years and about the excitement the future holds for it's residents and visitors. First opened in 1935, Liberty Market served for many years as Gilbert's only grocery store. Now it will be a neighborhood market serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. While getting a facelift, the owners are intent on preserving much of its history.
If you drive on Gilbert Road in downtown Gilbert, you may have noticed the construction work in progress south of the canal. This is for a park on the Western Powerline Trail that will serve visitors to downtown as well as bikers. walkers and joggers on the trail with relaxing water features and sitting areas. It will open early in 2009. Just east of Gilbert Road on Paige the Water Tank Park is scheduled to open in November.
All of these exciting new additions to downtown Gilbert join the many amenities that make downtown a place to enjoy often. If you haven't seen a live theater production at the Hale Centre Theater you have been missing an extraordinary experience.
That is a brief look at the present and future of Gilbert. About the past, I want to challenge all of you who cherish memories of Gilbert through the years to share them in this blog. Pictures of the past would be wonderful, too. (A Saturday morning at the Gilbert Historical Museum is a treat but your personal stories will mean so much to us old timers as well as those new to Gilbert.)
Let me start our walk down memory lane by asking:
- Who remembers when Foxworth Building Supplies was downtown. You could drive in off of Gilbert Road?
- Who remembers the Dairy Bar on the east side of Gilbert Road south of the canal? You could get a strong cup of coffee and all the Gilbert news there.
- There was a store that sold fresh eggs and milk on Gilbert Road between Guadalupe and Baseline Roads.
- A brick house stood on the southwest corner of Gilbert and Guadalupe Roads.
- Remember when sheep had the right of way on many of the roads that now are full of cars?
These are my memories of the 70's and 80's because that is as far back as I go in Gilbert. I would like to hear from some of you who were here before that. I'd also like to hear from those of you who are new to Gilbert. What do you love about this great city that knows how to blend the past and the future to make the present a very nice place to be.