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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


‘Forgotten’ governor buried here

The Georgia historical marker outside Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville notes two of the state's governors are buried there.

A.D. Candler, who was born in North Georgia and lived in Gainesville, is the better known. James Milton Smith, who served as governor from 1872 to 1877, was a South Georgian whose eventual home was Columbus. While most of his biographies don't mention it, at least one source said he practiced law in Hall County at one time, though that couldn't be confirmed.

December 13, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Fire gutted Gainesville's once-proud opera house

An opera house once flourished in Gainesville on the downtown square where Christopher's is situated today at the corner of Washington and Bradford streets.

December 06, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Book details Indian mound history, myths

When Emory Jones, who grew up in White County, told a friend he was going to write a book about the Nacoochee Indian mound, the friend's response was, "What, two pages?"

November 29, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


New Holland was a milestone in Hall County history

There have been some big days in the history of Hall County: the railroad coming in the 1870s, Johnson & Johnson building the model Chicopee mill village in 1927, opening of what would become Brenau University, likewise Riverside Military Academy, Lanier Tech and Gainesville State, the formation of Lake Lanier in the 1950s and construction of Interstate 985/Ga. 365.

November 22, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Who are men depicted in post office mural?

Those who remember the old U.S. Post Office at the corner of Green and Washington streets in downtown Gainesville also might remember the mural that hung in the lobby.

November 15, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Cemeteries’ secrets reveal family history

The Bell family has been prominent in North Georgia history for generations, producing farmers, politicians, athletes, coaches, educators and other professional and business men and women.

November 08, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Adventures before Alaska was a state

Martha Ann Taylor has a mountain of memories from service with the American Red Cross in Alaska before it became a state and was even wilder than it is today.

November 01, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Star-crossed boat too big for bridges

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing more water through Buford Dam because Lake Lanier's level is higher than it is supposed to be this time of year. The corps is afraid there won't be enough room to store water expected from winter rains.

October 25, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Will anybody want the lake level lower?

If the wet weather pattern continues, and Lake Lanier rises higher, instead of calls for raising the lake level, some might be tempted to want to draw the water down.

October 18, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Barber follows grandfather's old-time ways

When Ben McCool was a youngster, one of his jobs was cleaning out spittoons in his grandfather's barber shop.

October 11, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Center Point fills unique role in education

Center Point's mission isn't intended to turn out preachers, but it happens as a happy by-product to some of the students who take released-time courses in religion.

October 04, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How an idea for religion study started

Sometimes it takes idea decades before it becomes reality. It took only 15 months from when the idea of a Christian education center was discussed in Gainesville for it to open its doors to students wanting to learn more about various religions.

September 27, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How kudzu got its grip on Georgia

In view of this year's bodacious bumper crop of kudzu, it's interesting to see how we got where we are.

September 20, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County man rose to prominence as an orator

One of Hall County's most colorful characters was H.W.J. Ham, a journalist and lawyer who became nationally famous as an orator.

September 13, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chautauquas entertained, enlightened before TV, radio

Scientists and assorted tinkerers were just beginning to dabble in radio about the turn of the 20th century. It would be a couple of decades before entrepreneurs and listeners would realize its potential as a mass medium.

September 06, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Two journalists of note began their careers in Gainesville

You never know where a bicycle ride will take you.

January 25, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Where some names originate in North Georgia

A new street sign went up in Gainesville the other day - Sweet Bay Drive, the entrance to Atlanta Botanical Gardens' Smithgall Woodland Gardens off Cleveland Road.

January 18, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


You’re Old Hall County if you remember these

A version of this column ran in March 2000.

January 11, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


First wireless message sent in 1911 from ship to Brenau

"Wireless" is a common term in today's age of modern electronics. It allows people to use their electronic devices in a variety of locations or situations.

December 28, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Two kin from the area died decades apart serving cause

The story of Hugh Minor Sr. has been well told. He was the Dawson County native and pioneer airplane pilot who lived much of his early life in Gainesville.

December 21, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How Hall County reacted after Pearl Harbor

Just as the attack by Japanese on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, came on a Sunday, so is today's 73rd anniversary of that fateful day.

December 07, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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