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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Lyman Hall had to settle for marker

It could have been Lyman Hall instead of Old Joe on Gainesville's downtown square. In 1901, Somebody suggested a statue of Hall, the county's namesake and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, be erected in the middle of the square.

May 22, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pioneer's grave to be marked in Hall County

An important piece of Hall County history relating to the founding of Gainesville in 1821 will be highlighted Saturday at Air Line Baptist Church Cemetery.

May 15, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Much-coveted postmaster job stirred ruckus

Community postmaster jobs once were considered a valuable political plum, and therefore were much lusted over.

May 08, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesvillians pushed hard for rail route

When the Air Line railroad began construction just after the Civil War, Gainesville had fewer than 500 residents, and no houses had been built in 12 years.

May 01, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Some in area voted to delay Ga. secession

As Georgia and other Southern states contemplated secession from the Union in 1860, they scheduled conventions to decide the issue.

April 24, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Joy reigned in early days of Civil War

A few days before the Civil War broke out with the firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor April 12, 1861, mini-civil wars erupted now and then, even in Gainesville.

April 17, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Before '36 tornado, Gainesville was a retail hub

Gainesville had no clue, of course, that it would be the bull's eye for a record tornado that would ravage its downtown early on a Monday morning, April 6, 1936.

April 03, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Lessie Smithgall still going strong at 100

One of Lessie Smithgall's favorite stories about her early newspaper days was when she was making telephone calls trying to get people to subscribe to the brand-new Gainesville Daily Times.

March 27, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Stolen stone returns home minus fanfare

Considerable commotion arose a few years ago when some Georgia legislators wanted to claim land north of the state's boundary with Tennessee so Georgia could get water from the Tennessee River.

March 20, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Canal dream didn’t make it across state

It takes big dreamers sometime to get things done, but sometimes dreams evaporate with the times.

March 13, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


States’ rights was flag issue at courthouse

Georgia has had a series of flag controversies, mostly over changing the state flag in recent years.

March 06, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Midland train wasn't known for its speed

The Gainesville Midland Railroad, now part of CSX Railroad, from Gainesville to Athens, has a storied history, and it has some stories in its history.

February 27, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Generals met off battlefield after the war

Gen. James Longstreet, the Confederate officer who lived out his life in Gainesville, met one of his old foes years after the Civil War.

February 20, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Of schools, potholes and Gen. Sherman

When the Gainesville School System was just beginning in 1877, the city council at the time decreed that "one-fourth of 1 percent property tax" would be used to fund the schools.

February 13, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


1876 words could apply as well today

John E. Redwine was editor and publisher of the Gainesville Eagle in America's centennial year, 1876. Gainesville and Hall County were just over a half century old.

February 06, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Johnny Vardeman: It was so cold in 1895, cattle, hogs and feet were frozen

January is when we expect our bitterest cold weather, not the record-breaking 60s and 70s Northeast Georgia has experienced recently.

January 22, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: As Jimbo or Bimbo, he liked to laugh, and make us laugh

Since his untimely passing, Bimbo Brewer stories have been flying off the shelves like bread and milk before a snowstorm.

January 15, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Downey name honors efforts of early doctor

Downey Boulevard is a short Gainesville street running between South Enota Drive and Myrtle Street.

January 08, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Rowdy rituals on New Year’s Eve lured crowds to greet 1960s

During the 1950s, perhaps earlier, it had been a ritual among the younger crowd, and even some older Northeast Georgians, to celebrate a new year ...

January 01, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Christmas 1909 came with mix of snow, politics

How Christmas was in Hall County in 1909:

December 25, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Grace Hewell is gone, but her Gillsville pottery family endures

The matriarch of the Hewell family pottery dynasty, Grace Nell (Granny) Hewell, died Dec. 1.

December 18, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Local man photographs thousands of graves for website

A Gainesville man not only has seen about every grave marker in Hall County, he's photographed most of them.

December 11, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: There were no sacred cows safe in Dahlonega editor’s witty writings

W.B. Townsend, the colorful editor of the Dahlonega Nugget, who died in 1933, was often quoted by newspapers all over the country. His writings ...

December 04, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


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