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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Moonshiner making legal white lightnin’ now

Dwight Bearden was 6 or 7 years old when he first started helping his father on their liquor still north of Dawsonville.

April 20, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


‘Miracle man’ earned renown as horticulturist

Gainesville native Iverson D. Hudgins was characterized "a miracle man" because he survived the 1936 tornado despite being caught in the vortex of the twister, thrown high above his house, landing midst all manner of debris and leaving him with 17 fractures and nails in one eye and his jaw.

April 12, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


1936 tornado victim fought for life after storm struck

There are so many stories that have been told and retold about the 1936 tornado that caused more than 200 deaths in the heart of Gainesville.

April 05, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


River ford bandits’ lair is gone, but legends live

Woolley's Ford was one of those places on rivers in Northeast Georgia where people would cross either wading across shallows or riding a ferry. Bridges weren't all that common on such streams as the Chattahoochee or Chestatee until the late 1800s.

March 30, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pioneer Hall pastor, store merchant forgave debts

The first minister of Chestatee Baptist Church, John Edward "Jackie" Rives, was a successful farmer and merchant who turned preacher in 1833 after hearing a stirring sermon on swearing, a sin he admitted he was guilty of.

March 23, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Small church, full-size faith, enrich history

Mildred Martin, 86, a member of Chestatee Baptist Church since a baby, remembers when the building was heated by a pot-bellied stove.

March 16, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Drawn into history: Gainesville cartoonist to continue legacy of ‘Mark Trail’ comic

Jack Elrod spent much of his childhood roaming the rivers and woods around Gainesville and North Georgia.

March 09, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Helen’s Helen was a Missouri social butterfly

If it weren't for the preference of Southern cooks for white flour in the early 1900s, there might not be a Helen, Ga., as it is today.

March 02, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chicopee looked at Lula for its model village

Iris Thompson Fry of Lula is somewhat of a hoarder - not the kind you see on television, but a hoarder of memories and stories.

February 23, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Frigid winter conjures talk of ‘back when’

When a winter like Northeast Georgia is having this year, when electricity and gas bills soar, when firewood runs low, and school schedules are slammed, people begin to reminisce about winters past, those that stand out.

February 16, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


WWI aviator from Hall had some close calls

One of the first military aviators from Hall County who fought in World War I had some narrow escapes in the air, but luckily returned with hardly a scratch.

February 09, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Longstreets told whole world why they wed

Even in this more tolerant time, eyebrows are raised when a much older guy or gal marries a much younger gal or guy.

February 02, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


The day fire destroyed Longstreet’s home in Gainesville

Picture Gainesville in the late 1800s. It was billed as one of the South's great health resorts because of its numerous nearby mineral springs. It had a dozen lodging places, including the Piedmont Hotel operated by famed Confederate Gen. James Longstreet.

January 26, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Norwegian son follows mom’s path to Georgia

Liv Reinhardt Myklebust, a Norwegian, traveled to the United States in 1980 to attend Brenau University in Gainesville on a Georgia Rotary Student scholarship.

January 19, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Col. Candler defied mob to protect Union officer

An incident during the Civil War tells much about the character of A.D. Candler of Gainesville, who later served as mayor, U.S. representative and as Georgia's governor.

January 12, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Old buildings hold memories for long-timers

A couple of downtown Gainesville landmarks that hold special memories for a lot of people are undergoing yet another series of renovations.

August 30, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


School funds have a history of coming up short in area

Education funding and teacher pay aren't just recent controversies in Georgia's history.

August 23, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Lynchings were a common crime in early 20th century

Much is being made of the 100th anniversary of the Leo Frank/Mary Phagan case this month.

August 16, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Try your hand at some local history trivia

Another local history quiz. See how many questions you can answer.

August 09, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Rylees were among first settlers in Banks, Hall counties

Ten to 20 people will gather at the Rylee homeplace in Banks County for lunch today as they do most every Sunday.

August 02, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Brenau’s goal was to make ‘a good woman’

Some Northeast Georgia historical trivia:

July 26, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


‘Enoche’ wasn’t in Cherokees’ vocabulary, nor was auto racing

Recent inquiries to "Ask The Times" in the Saturday newspaper about sports car races at the Gainesville airport brought back memories to a couple of ...

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


Relatives of slugger’s wife Claire Ruth clear up myths

Claire Merritt pulled up her deep Northeast Georgia roots in the early 1920s, went to New York and married legendary baseball star Babe Ruth.

July 12, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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