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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Free bridge travel once was a luxury

As the automobile began to show up more around the turn of the 20th century, the demand for more roads and bridges increased. They sometimes became embroiled in controversy.

May 03, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall, South begged for a ‘bale-out’ before World War I

Federal "bailouts" of financial institutions, carmakers or others generate considerable heat across the country, but especially in the South.

April 26, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Congressman helped find his father's killer

Tom Bell was a man of action who served as 9th District U.S. Representative from 1905 to 1931.

April 19, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


And you say politics today can get nasty

We think partisan politics is worse than ever, but it's pretty tame compared to some periods of the country's history.

One incident involving a Hall Countian not long after the Civil War is an example of how things sometimes could get out of hand between political party supporters.

April 12, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Indian raid in 1859 nearly killed Hall native

Green Russell, who with his brothers caused a gold rush in what is now Colorado and who shares credit for the founding of Denver, was a colorful, adventurous character out of the hills of Lumpkin and Dawson counties.

April 05, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Leather wasn’t only product of Bona Allen tannery

Buford has a long history of sports excellence; witness the recent girls high school state basketball championship or the almost routine state championship football teams.

March 29, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Bona Allen leather works long gone, but name persists

The Bona Allen leather enterprises have been long gone from Buford, but the Bona Allen name lives and forever will be identified with the Gwinnett and Hall counties town of Buford.

March 22, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


First Lady’s funeral train stopped here 95 years ago

When President Woodrow Wilson's first wife, Ellen Louise Axson Wilson, died in June 1914, the train carrying her body stopped in Gainesville. Mrs. Wilson had spent considerable time in Gainesville, along with her husband. Two of her children were born in Gainesville.

March 15, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Recounting a lively race for Congress back in 1914

Congressional races in the 9th District aren't what they used to be. They traditionally were quite contested, and some could get nasty.

March 08, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Similar street names hinder fast response

With so many duplicate or similar street and road names in Hall County, it's a wonder emergency responders ever get to the right location.

March 01, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pilot Jared is still on a 'hell of a ride' in memoirs

During World War II, early in his flying career, Ed Jared worked for a private company teaching potential Army Air Corps pilots to fly.

February 22, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


NASA exec has no plans to retire yet

Growing up in southwest Gainesville in the 1940s and '50s, getting up early and milking the family cow before school, Jack Richards never imagined he'd be deeply involved in the nation's space program.

February 15, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How Madame Chiang Kai-chek landed at Piedmont College

One hundred years ago, Soong Mei-ling, who became Madame Chiang Kai-shek, enrolled in Piedmont College in Demorest.

February 08, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Plaque honors local veterans of Spanish War

Gainesville has numerous monuments around honoring presidents, local war veterans, Confederate soldiers and other figures in the county's history.

February 01, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


From Atlanta to sea by boat never did float

At the same time federal officials were planning Buford Dam immediately after World War II, they also considered making the Chattahoochee River navigable from Atlanta to Columbus. That eventually would allow barges to reach Georgia's capital from the Gulf of Mexico.

January 25, 2009 | 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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