It could have been Lyman Hall instead of Old Joe on Gainesville's downtown square. In 1901, Somebody suggested a statue of Hall, the county's namesake and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, be erected in the middle of the square.
An important piece of Hall County history relating to the founding of Gainesville in 1821 will be highlighted Saturday at Air Line Baptist Church Cemetery.
Community postmaster jobs once were considered a valuable political plum, and therefore were much lusted over.
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.
As Georgia and other Southern states contemplated secession from the Union in 1860, they scheduled conventions to decide the issue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It takes big dreamers sometime to get things done, but sometimes dreams evaporate with the times.
Georgia has had a series of flag controversies, mostly over changing the state flag in recent years.
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.
Gen. James Longstreet, the Confederate officer who lived out his life in Gainesville, met one of his old foes years after the Civil War.
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.
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.
Even longtime North Georgia residents are struck at how Gainesville's Atlanta Highway transformed so quickly.
Many remember the movie "The Last Picture Show," which came out in 1971 and starred Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd. It was about a dying Texas town whose businesses, including the movie show, were failing.
Connie Propes and other neighbors where Wal-Mart is building a grocery and installing gas pumps on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville are researching the history of the area, in particular Slaughterhouse Creek, which might be affected by rainfall runoff from the development. The creek eventually feeds into Lake Lanier.
During the recent razing of several sorority houses at Brenau University in Gainesville, students and alumni gathered in groups at times to snap photos and hopefully get a brick or other piece of memorabilia from the rubble.
The east side of Gainesville's downtown square in the 1950s was dominated by clothing stores, most of them what you would consider discount shops today.
At the height of the Lumpkin County gold rush, people from all over the country were coming to North Georgia to pursue their personal fortune. Locals sometimes were prone to take advantage of gullible outside prospectors.
Editor's note: For many years, Johnny Vardeman, retired editor of The Times, would write his annual "'mater sammich" column as homegrown tomatoes started coming in during the summer. "'Maters and Music" will be the theme for a tomato sandwich event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center one mile north of Vogel State Park, 9 miles south of Blairsville on U.S. 129.
A century will have passed Monday since the beginning of World War I, which started July 28, 1914, when Austria declared war on Serbia. The United States didn't enter until three years later, declaring war on Germany.
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