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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


What used to be where on square in Gainesville

Relative newcomers to Hall County, and even longtime residents whose memory might be fuzzy, are curious about "what used to be" in Gainesville's downtown.

June 15, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Humorist cut his law teeth in North Ga.

Near the intersection of Wilson Bridge and Martin Bridge roads off Exit 154 of Interstate 85 in Banks County, there once was a community called Arp.

June 08, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall’s street names reflect Indians, plants

The late Lester Hosch, a Hall County businessman, consummate Rotarian and historian, once inventoried Gainesville street names, giving the origin of some of them.

June 01, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Summer ’64 sizzled with war, protests for civil rights

The year 1964 doesn't seem like half a century ago, but it is memorable because of the turbulent times the country experienced.

May 25, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


A century ago, Great War raised worries

One hundred years ago, Europe was in the throes of World War I, called the Great War prior to World War II, and countries were declaring war on each other right and left.

May 18, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


When politics was populated by statesmen

While there are debates in these political times, they aren't what they used to be. Nowadays, campaigns depend on big money to buy big television ads. Elections seemingly are won by who has the most money to buy TV time.

May 11, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


History center began small in old firehouse

The Northeast Georgia History Center, celebrating a decade in its $4 million building on Gainesville's Academy Street, got off to a meager beginning in an old fire station in 1981.

May 04, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville’s 1950s festivals put poultry on a pedestal

The Spring Chicken Festival held in downtown Gainesville this weekend surely must stir memories of those who remember the very popular Georgia Poultry Festival staged in the 1950s and '60s, just when the poultry industry was beginning to take off in Northeast Georgia.

April 27, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Moonshiner making legal white lightnin’ now

Dwight Bearden was 6 or 7 years old when he first started helping his father on their liquor still north of Dawsonville.

April 20, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


‘Miracle man’ earned renown as horticulturist

Gainesville native Iverson D. Hudgins was characterized "a miracle man" because he survived the 1936 tornado despite being caught in the vortex of the twister, thrown high above his house, landing midst all manner of debris and leaving him with 17 fractures and nails in one eye and his jaw.

April 12, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


1936 tornado victim fought for life after storm struck

There are so many stories that have been told and retold about the 1936 tornado that caused more than 200 deaths in the heart of Gainesville.

April 05, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


River ford bandits’ lair is gone, but legends live

Woolley's Ford was one of those places on rivers in Northeast Georgia where people would cross either wading across shallows or riding a ferry. Bridges weren't all that common on such streams as the Chattahoochee or Chestatee until the late 1800s.

March 30, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pioneer Hall pastor, store merchant forgave debts

The first minister of Chestatee Baptist Church, John Edward "Jackie" Rives, was a successful farmer and merchant who turned preacher in 1833 after hearing a stirring sermon on swearing, a sin he admitted he was guilty of.

March 23, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Small church, full-size faith, enrich history

Mildred Martin, 86, a member of Chestatee Baptist Church since a baby, remembers when the building was heated by a pot-bellied stove.

March 16, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Drawn into history: Gainesville cartoonist to continue legacy of ‘Mark Trail’ comic

Jack Elrod spent much of his childhood roaming the rivers and woods around Gainesville and North Georgia.

March 09, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Late Gov. Carl Sanders kept substantial ties to Hall

Carl Sanders, the Georgia governor from 1963-67, who died last week, had a lot of Gainesville connections.

November 23, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Vintage Gainesville photos stir memories, show changes

Nothing funner on a rainy day than pulling out family photo albums, reminiscing and laughing over how you, your children, grandchildren and others have changed through the years.

November 16, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Veterans Day honors military heroes of all conflicts

Tuesday is Veterans Day, when at the 11th hour on the 11th day of November, the 11th month, citizens and veterans across the country honor and remember veterans of all wars.

November 09, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How survivor escaped flames in pants plant

The Cooper Pants Factory historical marker at the corner of Maple and Broad streets in Gainesville has been appropriately unveiled in remembrance of those who died in the 1936 tornado, specifically those killed in the tragic fire that engulfed the pants factory.

November 02, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Original copy of Gainesville High paper dates to 1902

Gainesville High School students and alumni are familiar with The Trumpeter, the school newspaper for decades.

October 26, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How much do you know about Lake Lanier, local history?

Time for another little local history trivia quiz. Answers follow:

October 19, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Timely rains kept schedule for filling lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local leaders broke ground for Buford Dam in 1949, and it would be another seven years before the first trickle of water from the Chattahoochee River would begin to form Lake Lanier.

October 12, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Cooper Pants Factory marker finally to honor victims of '36 tragedy

A mother and her two daughters were among those killed in the Cooper Pants Factory fire that started during the 1936 Gainesville tornado.

October 05, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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