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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


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


Hall Countian was among heroes at the Alamo

A few Georgians were involved in the Battle of the Alamo in what is now Texas in 1836, among them William Wells, who was born in what is now Hall County in 1798.

January 30, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Milliken had impact on Hall, many places

When textile tycoon Roger Milliken died last month, Spartanburg and the whole of South Carolina appropriately mourned him and loudly sang his praises.

January 23, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Similar themes in inaugurals of 2 Hall County governors

There were similar themes in the inauguration of the first governor from Hall County, A.D. Candler, and the second, Nathan Deal, who took office last week.

January 16, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Johnny Vardeman: Storm victims’ cemetery marker in need of repair

More than 200 people died in the April 6, 1936, tornado that blew through the heart of Gainesville.

March 26, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Check yourself on local history, area landmarks

Some miscellaneous historical trivia to test your knowledge of Northeast Georgia: (Answers below.)

March 19, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Transportation plan in 1970s had hits, misses

Transportation problems are a symptom of galloping growth, which comes in spurts according to the health of the economy.

March 12, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Levines left lasting legacy as craftsmen

The record needs to be set straighter on who built the famed lectern first used by President Franklin Roosevelt, who dedicated a new courthouse and ...

March 05, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Valentine Day’s leap into Lake Lanier a ritual for pals

For decades, it has been a tradition and rite of spring for many Gainesville High School students to take a dip off "the pipe" on ...

February 19, 2017 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


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