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Archive By Section - 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


Georgia press offered praise to Gainesville

Gainesville was just becoming known as a health resort and a North Georgia leader in 1878 when it was host to a convention of Georgia editors and publishers, the largest such gathering ever held at the time.

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


Boy Scouts, YMCA have rich history

Boy Scouting is celebrating its 100th year nationwide. In Hall County the movement began about 1920, according to a history of local Boy Scouts written by Livingston Newton in 1927.

March 28, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Street cars finally came to end of line

One of the most charming modes of transportation in Gainesville was the old street car, which actually began with horse-drawn trolleys in the 1870s.

March 21, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Early church put bars out of business

A writer identified only as "C.W.A." gave an account of the early history of churches in Gainesville in an 1888 article in the Gainesville Eagle.

March 14, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How helmets finally got into baseball

With opening day for Major League Baseball only weeks away, players wearing helmets at all levels is a common as wads of tobacco or bubble gum poking out their jaws.

March 07, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


1940s Guild put spotlight on theater

Community theater in Gainesville wasn't really in the spotlight until the 1960s, but a Gainesville Theatre Guild organized in the 1940s produced several plays before it was succeeded by a group that eventually became today's Gainesville Theater Alliance.

February 28, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Soda fountain was a popular spot at pharmacies

There weren't nearly as many eating places around Gainesville's downtown half a century ago as there are today, but there were enough with certain menu items that stick in your memory like cheese on a burger.

February 21, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Where fans can get a fill-up on car racing

Race Week in Daytona fittingly concludes on Valentine's Day because fans have had a longtime love affair with auto racing in its various forms.

February 14, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


A short street, Woodsmill’s past is rich

When Gainesville officials announced during Truman Day festivities July 4, 1945, they were planning to pave the road to the golf course, they might have been talking about Woodsmill Road.

February 07, 2010 | 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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