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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


One young lad ruled the Great Bicycle Race

There was a big race out at Road Atlanta near Chestnut Mountain this weekend. Across the Winder Highway, stock cars have burned rubber all season long.

North Georgia and particularly Hall County have a long tradition of racing, dating back to when a track operated at the old fairgrounds off Shallowford Road and Looper's Speedway, located on the big bend in the Chattahoochee River where Laurel Park on Lake Lanier is today.

November 30, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Large-scale annexations are never simple

Gainesville's recent decision to abandon its attempt to annex unincorporated islands into the city illustrates again the reluctance of many outside-city interests to become part of a city.

November 30, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Japanese link to Brenau goes back quite a ways

Two reminders of Brenau University's Japanese connection remain on the Gainesville school's campus.

A weathered stone lantern that once graced Lake Takeda in the area of the present tennis courts now stands in the plaza area in the school's sorority circle off Prior Street. Two Japanese maples beside the Science Building on Washington Street guard another marker donated to the memory of Aya Takeda, who started it all in 1906, according to Brenau's archives.

November 23, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Doug’s popular drive-in served half a century

Doug Meeks scraped together $500, pooled it with another $500 from a partner and established a Hall County restaurant that developed into an institution for more than half a century.

November 23, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County a was reluctant backer of Lake Lanier

In these drought-driven days, we're pretty much together in North Georgia in the never-ending tug-of-war over water in the Chattahoochee River basin, which forms Lake Lanier.

Used to be we'd fuss with Atlanta about how much water it was using. But now so many consider us part of Atlanta, and therefore part of the problem, that we've ended up on the same side in Georgia's battles with Alabama and Florida over water that originates within our boundaries.

November 16, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Masonic apron survived trip to California gold fields

A Masonic apron on display periodically at Dahlonega's Gold Museum has a century-and-a-half story behind it.

November 16, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Players had to fix their 'field of dreams' before play

A "Field of Dreams" is planned at Alberta Banks Park in south Hall County for children with physical and developmental disabilities.

November 09, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Thick bamboo part of former Brenau garden

Bamboo, some of it more than half foot in diameter and tall as a three-story building, grows tucked away in a corner of the Brenau University campus in Gainesville.

November 02, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Novel retells gold history in Lumpkin County

Anne Dismukes Amerson long ago made a name for herself as an expert on North Georgia history and from her "I Remember Dahlonega" series of books, along with other books on the area's past.

October 26, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


First Brother left friends tales to retell

Gainesville Realtor Don Carter for many years owned a farm on Corbin Creek near Hiawassee. He regularly invited friends up for fishing, tall-tale telling and assorted activities.

October 19, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall helped lead colonies’ break from England

Thank the Lord for people like the late Sybil McRay and Ruth Waters, local historians and educators, who researched our past, leaving a legacy of less to do for those who followed them.

October 12, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Battles over rivers, boundaries are nothing new

Georgia has a history of boundary battles with its neighbors. The most recent scrimmage was with Tennessee, which some Georgia legislators wanted to adjust its boundary to take advantage of that state's water resources.

October 05, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


White County mountain’s past is quite infamous

Lynch Mountain isn't as well known or prominent as its more visible neighbor, Yonah Mountain, which stands guard over picturesque Nacoochee Valley in White County.

September 28, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Historic home and Old Joe both will stay put

Ebernezer B. Gower was the guy who developed Gower Springs, which became a popular resort off Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. He not only owned the property that eventually became the Green Street Circle neighborhood, but owned land from that point all the way up to the downtown square.

September 21, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Dairies milked all over North Georgia

Winford Elrod used to get up at 4 a.m., milk cows, bottle the milk, load the bottles on a truck, deliver them to homes all over Gainesville, then get back to the dairy in time to milk again.

September 14, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Original copy of Gainesville High paper dates to 1902

Gainesville High School students and alumni are familiar with The Trumpeter, the school newspaper for decades.

October 26, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How much do you know about Lake Lanier, local history?

Time for another little local history trivia quiz. Answers follow:

October 19, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Timely rains kept schedule for filling lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local leaders broke ground for Buford Dam in 1949, and it would be another seven years before the first trickle of water from the Chattahoochee River would begin to form Lake Lanier.

October 12, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Cooper Pants Factory marker finally to honor victims of '36 tragedy

A mother and her two daughters were among those killed in the Cooper Pants Factory fire that started during the 1936 Gainesville tornado.

October 05, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | 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


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