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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Christmas came in '36 despite tragic storm

People are still around who remember that first Christmas season after Gainesville's 1936 tornado.

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


Editors of old weren’t stingy with their wit

One of the many experts that enjoyed critiquing newspapers used to say there wasn't enough humor in them.

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


Shoal Creek’s colorful men made history

Slab Town and Pleasant Retreat no longer are on modern maps of White County, but they once were significant communities that produced significant people in the county's history.

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


Golden roads, voter scams and $20 bills

Because so many new voters are on the rolls, no doubt when votes are counted Nov. 4, howls will come from all corners about fraud or efforts to keep certain voters from casting legitimate ballots.

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


Newsman Craig lived and died on the press

Northeast Georgia over the years produced some colorful journalists, some of whom attained national recognition for their writing.

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


History Center forum focuses on Indian law

A Gainesville native who has become an authority on Indian removal will come back home Tuesday night to talk about the topic at the regular monthly forum of the Northeast Georgia History Center.

December 07, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Sunday shows stirred debate after WWII

During World War II, Gainesville theaters were allowed to show movies on Sundays in deference to military personnel stationed in the immediate area.

December 07, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | 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


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Moonshiner making legal white lightnin’ now

Dwight Bearden was 6 or 7 years old when he first started helping his father on their liquor still north of Dawsonville.

April 20, 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


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