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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Peach pickin’ time continues an annual rite

It is approaching peak peach time in North Georgia. Trips to Jaemor Farms near Lula and other orchards in that area will become more frequent. Peaches will be showing up more often in the backs of trucks parked at local farmers' markets.

June 10, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


'Deliverance' bash marks movie's 40th anniversary

Rabun County's spectacular beauty has lured tourists to the mountains for decades, and when Hollywood discovered it, it became a mecca for movie settings.

June 03, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Fire didn’t put local newspaper out of business

Fire struck the Gainesville Eagle newspaper right before Christmas 1885.

May 27, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Storms led to floods, later Lake Lanier

In July 1916, the Southeast suffered from a tropical 1-2 punch that resulted in historic flooding and caused dozens of deaths and millions in damage.

May 20, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Shoe factory closing left many jobless

Hall County's economy has had its ups and downs through its history, with disasters striking and industries opening or closing.

May 13, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Warnings over Ga. 365 date back to ’70s

Concern over the safety of Ga. 365, the four-laner from Gainesville to the South Carolina line via Toccoa, can be traced well back into the 1970s before it was even built.

May 06, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


1959 critical year for rails in N. Georgia

North Georgia is rich in railroad history, what with efforts in the 1800s to get a main line through Gainesville, trials and tribulations of the Gainesville and Northwestern Railroad into the mountains, the Gainesville Midland, one of the last steam trains in the country, as well as the colorful but troubled Tallulah Falls Railroad from Cornelia to Franklin, N.C.

April 29, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Early travel costly, rough on area roads

Toll roads have been in the news in Georgia lately. State officials reneged on a promise to end the toll on Ga. 400 when it was paid for. They also turned a lane of Interstate 85 that tax money had built into a High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane that you have to pay to use now. And there are plans and discussions about other toll roads in the Atlanta area.

April 22, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County library had to struggle from get-go

While in recent years, Hall County Library has expanded its reach with branches in most sections of the county, the road has been bumpy for the public library movement.

April 15, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pea Ridge put suspense in bond vote

Before increasing sales taxes became the popular method to finance improvements, local governments often used bond issues to finance capital items, especially schools and government buildings.

April 08, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville's changes in council structure come rarely

With state legislation to add an elected mayor to Gainesville City Council getting final approval, it would be the first substantive change since the city went from a three-person commission to five in 1958.

April 01, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Wire walker over Tallulah excited crowd

Summer of 1970 was hot in more ways than one in Georgia.

March 25, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County's early days: Mint juleps, mountain dew and chickens

Back about the turn of the 20th century, Hall County was an up-and-coming corner of the state, but some of its leaders felt snubbed by other areas that didn't see its potential.

March 11, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Main Street Gang relives its old school days

When the old Main Street School in Gainesville was demolished to make way for a Hall County jail, the cornerstone and its contents were salvaged.

March 04, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Rich history, controversy mark jail site

If it weren't such a serious matter, it almost would be funny, this dispute over the former Hall County jail property on South Main Street in Gainesville.

February 26, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles by Section - 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


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


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