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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Family’s lives rotated around a 5-and-dime

You don't see many 5-and-10-cent stores anymore like McLellan's, which was such an anchor in downtown Gainesville over several decades.

April 21, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Mill villagers had hard life, yet had fun

With no television, limited transportation and very little money, children growing up in the Gainesville Mill village in the 1940s, '50s and beyond "made do."

April 14, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Do diamonds remain hidden in Hall’s soils?

A century and a half ago this month, the Civil War began officially with the shelling of Fort Sumter, but as embroiled as the nation was in the turmoil of the times, Hall Countians had diamonds on their minds and in their mines.

April 07, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Lawyer lost friends fighting for Cherokees

One of the little known, but most controversial figures in Hall County history was a lawyer named William H. Underwood.

March 31, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Two local towns had double mayor controversies

Georgia had its "two governors" controversy back in 1947 after the governor-elect, Eugene Talmadge, died just weeks before his inauguration.

March 24, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Railroaders get together to swap tales

The late Talmadge Pless, who served as Lula's mayor, missed seeing his fellow Norfolk-Southern Railway workers after he retired.

March 17, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Several ’20s stars excelled in college ball

Several players on the undefeated 1923-25 Gainesville High School football teams went on to greater things, including athletics.

March 10, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Amazing Gainesville team had amazing win streak

The 1923 Gainesville High School football team, in the school's first undefeated season, had scored 306 points to its opponents' 19, shutting out seven of those teams.

March 03, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


GHS won it all in 1923-25, yet no trophy

As storied as Gainesville High School football is, it took 99 years for its first state championship, remarkably winning it in 2012, the first year the school jumped two classifications into AAAAA.

February 24, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Friendship Road has rich history and many trials

It's no wonder residents along Friendship Road in southern Hall County are so passionate in resisting a change in the road's name to Lanier Islands Parkway.

February 17, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Writer didn’t fret if stories weren’t real

There's a television commercial in which a woman says something to the effect that it has to be true if you see it on the Internet because you can't put anything on the Internet unless it's true. When asked where she learned that, she replies, "On the Internet," then walks away with her blind date, alleged "French model" that she met on the Internet.

February 10, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


‘MilliKids’ kept plenty busy in mill village life

"We lived for the lights to come on in the gym," Vic Wilson said as he drove through the New Holland mill village where he grew up.

February 03, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chicopee had its own ‘fix-it’ guy to turn to

In just about every community, there is somebody who is the "go-to" guy or gal. In Chicopee Village for many years that was Joe Holcomb.

January 27, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Morris tough, but eased up on Elephants

Larry Morris, the great Georgia Tech and National Football League linebacker who died last month, was the father of Kayanne Staub, wife of Eagle Ranch director Eddie Staub.

January 20, 2013 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hogs, poultry were an issue in annexation

Every few years, an annexation controversy featuring the city of Gainesville and outlying properties seems to pop up.

January 13, 2013 | 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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