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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Astronomy genius found his gift here

One of the first products of the Gainesville school system was said to be Otis Ashmore, who was considered a genius in astronomy. It was at Gainesville College, as the first city school was called, that teachers are said to have discovered his gift.

His uncle, Thomas Ashmore, was the longtime editor of the famous Grier's Almanac. When he died, Otis Ashmore succeeded him and served from 1882 to 1934. During Otis's tenure, however, the almanac went through bankruptcy and was sold on the courthouse steps in Savannah, where Otis Ashmore had moved to become superintendent of Savannah ...

July 25, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Whelchels, Wilkies; what’s in their name?

Whelchel, Wilkie, Gilkie?

July 18, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Park Hall has strong link to Gainesville

Generations of Gainesville and Hall County students, not to mention the rest of Northeast Georgia, have either had classes in or walked by Park Hall numerous times on the main campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

July 11, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


School closed, its namesake not forgotten

Jones Elementary School may be no more, but the Sylvester B. Jones name lives on as the Hall County school board plans to continue to make use of the building in Chicopee Village.

July 04, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Match firm fired up city in the 1880s

Gainesville has had a variety of industries over time, making everything from ball bearings to chicken pluckers.

June 27, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Anonymity doesn't faze Robertstown

Helen, the Bavarian-themed village in northern White County, is well known around the state and Southeast.

June 20, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


New Holland Springs was popular resort

White Sulphur Springs in eastern Hall County perhaps is the best known of the mineral springs resorts during their heyday in the last part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century.

June 13, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Conventions chose hopefuls for Congress

This year's 9th District U.S. House races are provoking considerable interest despite low voter turnout. It's the first time in several years the election has been close enough for a runoff.

May 30, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Little church by the river marks its 150th year

It's a Methodist church, but instead of sprinkling water on the heads of new members, they more likely will be baptized in the Chattahoochee River that flows just a stone's throw away.

May 23, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Spelling bee words not as tough in 1875

The 19th annual Spelling Bee to benefit the Alliance for Literacy was held a few days ago at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium in Gainesville.

May 16, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County catered to tourists, well and ill

Hall County, somewhat of a health resort in the 1800s and early 1900s, at the time had one of the lowest death rates in the United States.

May 09, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Old whistle gives people time of day

If you've lived around Gainesville a while, you know where that whistle comes from that blows at 8 a.m., noon, 12:30 and 4:30 p.m., Georgia Chair Co. on Industrial Boulevard.

May 02, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


He printed first copies of newspaper in 1947

The guy who cranked out the very first issues of what was then the Gainesville Daily Times Jan. 26, 1947, died the other day.

April 25, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Trunk full of memories returns home

Sometimes you find treasure within a treasure that you weren't even looking for.

April 18, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Electricity was slow to arrive in parts of Hall

Gainesville was one of the first towns in the South to have electricity, courtesy of Gen. A.J. Warner and others who built a hydroelectric plant on the Chestatee River between Gainesville and Dahlonega and later Dunlap Dam on the Chattahoochee River near the site of today's American Legion Post 7.

April 11, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Johnny Vardeman: Old fire maps provide peek into city’s past

David A. Sanborn, a civil engineer and surveyor, began mapping urban areas as early as 1866 for fire insurance purposes.

July 17, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | All viewpoint stories


Johnny Vardeman: Dixie City was discount pioneer before big box stores

Before there was a Wal-Mart, before there was a Kmart, before all the Dollar-type discount stores, there was Gainesville's Dixie City, from which sprang ...

July 10, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: McCurry kin, O’Dells notable in Hall history

The main reason prolific preacher and church planter Dave McCurry came to North Georgia from North Carolina after four of his children had died was ...

July 03, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Ancestors give Hall woman a lot to talk about

Gainesville icon Lillie Mae Green will turn 98 July 17.

June 26, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Some aging local schools were closed, some rescued

Gainesville city schools are in building mode with a new Enota Elementary School and one off Mundy Mill Road near Oakwood plus an addition to ...

June 19, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: City directory pictured town as it used to be, with full details

Old telephone directories are full of history of local communities because they contained names and addresses of residents, as well as businesses, especially those who ...

June 12, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Old directories reveal history, revive memories

Old telephone directories provide a peek into the past as they are akin to local history books themselves.

June 05, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Jackson County plays major role in a PBS film airing Monday

Jackson County will be the star of the Public Broadcasting documentary, "War Journal - The Incredible Escape of Damon 'Rocky' Gause at 7 p.m. Monday ...

May 29, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


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