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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


And you say politics today can get nasty

We think partisan politics is worse than ever, but it's pretty tame compared to some periods of the country's history.

One incident involving a Hall Countian not long after the Civil War is an example of how things sometimes could get out of hand between political party supporters.

April 12, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Indian raid in 1859 nearly killed Hall native

Green Russell, who with his brothers caused a gold rush in what is now Colorado and who shares credit for the founding of Denver, was a colorful, adventurous character out of the hills of Lumpkin and Dawson counties.

April 05, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Leather wasn’t only product of Bona Allen tannery

Buford has a long history of sports excellence; witness the recent girls high school state basketball championship or the almost routine state championship football teams.

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


Bona Allen leather works long gone, but name persists

The Bona Allen leather enterprises have been long gone from Buford, but the Bona Allen name lives and forever will be identified with the Gwinnett and Hall counties town of Buford.

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


First Lady’s funeral train stopped here 95 years ago

When President Woodrow Wilson's first wife, Ellen Louise Axson Wilson, died in June 1914, the train carrying her body stopped in Gainesville. Mrs. Wilson had spent considerable time in Gainesville, along with her husband. Two of her children were born in Gainesville.

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


Recounting a lively race for Congress back in 1914

Congressional races in the 9th District aren't what they used to be. They traditionally were quite contested, and some could get nasty.

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


Similar street names hinder fast response

With so many duplicate or similar street and road names in Hall County, it's a wonder emergency responders ever get to the right location.

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


Pilot Jared is still on a 'hell of a ride' in memoirs

During World War II, early in his flying career, Ed Jared worked for a private company teaching potential Army Air Corps pilots to fly.

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


NASA exec has no plans to retire yet

Growing up in southwest Gainesville in the 1940s and '50s, getting up early and milking the family cow before school, Jack Richards never imagined he'd be deeply involved in the nation's space program.

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


How Madame Chiang Kai-chek landed at Piedmont College

One hundred years ago, Soong Mei-ling, who became Madame Chiang Kai-shek, enrolled in Piedmont College in Demorest.

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


Plaque honors local veterans of Spanish War

Gainesville has numerous monuments around honoring presidents, local war veterans, Confederate soldiers and other figures in the county's history.

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


From Atlanta to sea by boat never did float

At the same time federal officials were planning Buford Dam immediately after World War II, they also considered making the Chattahoochee River navigable from Atlanta to Columbus. That eventually would allow barges to reach Georgia's capital from the Gulf of Mexico.

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


Poultry Bowl didn’t attract large turnout

Mat Garretson, a former Gainesville man now a California winemaker, noticed a piece in ESPN magazine about football bowl games that mentioned the Poultry Bowl of 1973.

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


Citizens Bank staff will gather to reminisce

The Citizens Bank was a mainstay in Gainesville for more than eight decades. Before the banking landscape changed so dramatically, you had Citizens, First National and Gainesville National, then the savings and loan guys, Home Federal and First Federal. In recent years, banks grew like kudzu, and even in today's recession new ones are sprouting.

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


Four decades later, woman finds POW

When Kathleen Bearden was 13 years old, she and several friends bought Prisoner-of-War bracelets to support American troops fighting in the Vietnam War.

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


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Family finally tells its story of ’36 Gainesville tornado

Because April is high tornado season, and storms are top of mind especially in Northeast Georgia, here's a family's remarkable story about how they survived Gainesville's 1936 tornado despite being in or near the middle of it. They were indeed fortunate they were not among the more than 200 people killed.

April 19, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville residents fought to keep square in 1901

"Old Joe," the Confederate statue on Gainesville's downtown square, almost wasn't to be for a couple of reasons.

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


Anniversary of a different deadly 1936 tornado

Today is the 79th anniversary of the fourth deadliest tornado in United States history.

April 05, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville Mill added a big jolt to Hall economy

The early 1900s were high times for Gainesville and Hall County.

March 29, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gwinnett County police murders stunned state in 1964

Fifty-one years ago next month marks one of the most sensational crimes in Georgia's history: the execution murders of three Gwinnett County policemen.

March 22, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Mossy Creek Campground is full of history

Mossy Creek Campground lies between Ga. 254 and Skitts Mountain Road in White County.

March 15, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Many golfers learned to play at Mossy Creek in White County

One of the oldest golf courses in North Georgia is Mossy Creek, just over the Hall County line into White County on Ga. 254 next to Mossy Creek Campground and at the base of Skitts Mountain.

March 08, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Stores keep on the move these days, too

There have been so many changes among Gainesville's business districts over the years, you can't keep track of them.

March 01, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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