If you drove through Harmony, it was impossible to miss the home and office of Dr. J. M. “Mebane” Robertson and his wife, Ann.
The two buildings at 3335 Harmony Highway overlooked Harmony’s main intersection for longer than the late doctor’s 57-year career. But now the more than 3,000-square-foot, five bedroom, three bathroom home has been razed.
Due to years of deterioration, current owner Eddie Gaither determined it would be too costly to renovate, but the land is a great location for new business.
“It was in pretty bad shape at this point,” he said.
Harmony residents offered speculation on businesses that might occupy the lot, but Gaither said he has no specific plans yet.
“I’m open for any offers for businesses, preferably any restaurants …” Gaither said.
Robertson’s former office isn’t included in the demolition. That building is owned by Leon Barker.
Some Harmony residents say they’re sad to see the structures go, as many were cared for by Dr. Robertson from birth.
“Dr. Robertson delivered all my siblings, nine of us at home, one in the hospital,” said Alice Waugh, a lead volunteer at Matthew 25 Ministries across the street from Robertson’s home.
Waugh recalled visiting Dr. Robertson as a child for treatment of cuts. He would hold her still while he disinfected the wound, she said.
“He was very well thought of and beloved by everyone out here,” said Marilyn Mahaffey, an insurance agent at Towne & Country Insurance in Harmony.
Mahaffey said her husband, Joe, was delivered by Dr. Robertson in 1947.
“My daddy picked Dr. Robertson up. It was a snowy November night,” said Joe Mahaffey. “He delivered me, spent the night on the couch and my dad took him home in the morning.”
A memorial to Robertson erected outside the office by the V-Point Ruritan Club reads the long-time Harmony doctor “delivered more than 3,500 babies … and devoted his entire life to keeping them well.”