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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Zipper firm transformed White County

When zipper inventor and manufacturer Talon Inc., announced it would locate in Cleveland in the summer of 1952, the normally reserved weekly Cleveland Courier shouted the news in 2-inch headlines.

June 05, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chicken tags hailed, hated by motorists

Probably a few longtime Hall County residents have an old "chicken tag" lying around, having saved it from the 1950s and '60s or found it at a garage or yard sale somewhere.

May 29, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Lyman Hall had to settle for marker

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.

May 22, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pioneer's grave to be marked in Hall County

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.

May 15, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Much-coveted postmaster job stirred ruckus

Community postmaster jobs once were considered a valuable political plum, and therefore were much lusted over.

May 08, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesvillians pushed hard for rail route

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.

May 01, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Some in area voted to delay Ga. secession

As Georgia and other Southern states contemplated secession from the Union in 1860, they scheduled conventions to decide the issue.

April 24, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Joy reigned in early days of Civil War

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.

April 17, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Before '36 tornado, Gainesville was a retail hub

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.

April 03, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Lessie Smithgall still going strong at 100

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.

March 27, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Stolen stone returns home minus fanfare

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.

March 20, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Canal dream didn’t make it across state

It takes big dreamers sometime to get things done, but sometimes dreams evaporate with the times.

March 13, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


States’ rights was flag issue at courthouse

Georgia has had a series of flag controversies, mostly over changing the state flag in recent years.

March 06, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Midland train wasn't known for its speed

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.

February 27, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Generals met off battlefield after the war

Gen. James Longstreet, the Confederate officer who lived out his life in Gainesville, met one of his old foes years after the Civil War.

February 20, 2011 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Film to depict Jackson pilot’s WWII escapes

Jackson Countians know why the Jefferson bypass on U.S. 129 south of Gainesville is named for Major Damon J. Gause. Many others, even in neighboring counties, might not know that he was a World War II hero, whose remarkable story about multiple escapes from the Japanese will be told in a Public Broadcasting documentary next year.

September 28, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Ex-principal to mark 100th at old school

Frances Miller Haynes will turn 100 years old Oct. 1. Appropriately, she will celebrate in advance Saturday in the building with which she is most identified – Candler Street School just off North Green Street in Gainesville.

September 21, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Businesses along Atlanta Highway roll with the times

Even longtime North Georgia residents are struck at how Gainesville's Atlanta Highway transformed so quickly.

September 14, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Who recalls the final film shown at the Royal?

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.

September 07, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Slaughterhouse Creek’s history includes mines, meat operation

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.

August 31, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Many memories made in Brenau sorority houses

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.

August 24, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Sacks store was mainstay on city square

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.

August 17, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Seeding ground with gold failed to profit crooks

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.

August 10, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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