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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Centennial year was a milestone for local education

The country was but 100 years old in 1876, celebrating its centennial with a big blowout in Philadelphia that actually became the first World's Fair.

September 23, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Spittoon miss caused blaze at courthouse

The old Hall County Courthouse, built in 1884 after a fire destroyed the previous one, was done in by the 1936 tornado that demolished downtown Gainesville. But for a mere coincidence, it almost burned down a quarter century earlier.

September 16, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


1st convictions for Klan Act came in area

Violence against blacks in Northeast Georgia led to the first convictions in the state under the Ku Klux Klan Act aimed at trying to outlaw the organization.

September 09, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Riders loved to commute on Airline Belle rail line

There has been talk in recent years about commuter rail from Hall County to Atlanta. Some folks see in the future an extension of Atlanta's rapid rail, MARTA, into Gwinnett County, maybe light rail to Gainesville.

September 02, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Schools faced overcrowding in early days

Gainesville School Board is rolling up taxes this year, saying teachers are having to do more with less as enrollment continues to climb.

August 26, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chase ended in near riot at City Hall

It's been an interesting election season so far, what with the failure of T-SPLOST, the various runoffs upcoming and an intense presidential campaign.

August 19, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


When Gainesville square was a circle for cruisers

What a great idea the former cruisers had recently when they staged a cruise-in along Pearl Nix Parkway, or West Bypass, as it was known at one time.

August 12, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pioneer radio man entertained, helped listeners

Bob Schwab was one of those people you call "pioneers" in his profession.

August 05, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Olympics stir ’96 memories of Games here

The Summer Olympic Games in London surely must stir some memories for local folks when Lake Lanier was chosen as a venue for rowing and flatwater kayaking and canoeing in 1996.

July 29, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Similar issues are recycled year to year

What are those old sayings? "What goes around comes around ?" or "There's nothing new under the sun."

July 22, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Rabun native tries to hang onto heritage

If ever there were a person who best epitomized the culture and character of the North Georgia mountains, it might be Barbara Taylor Woodall, who lives on Kelly's Creek in Rabun County.

July 15, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How you got over the mountains in early days

We think nothing of a trip to the mountains these days. From Gainesville, one can be in the heights of the hills in less than an hour's drive north.

July 08, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


It was hard to find stills a long time ago

North Georgia mountains long have had the reputation of a hiding place for illegal liquor stills.

July 01, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Tourists came by rail to see gorgeous gorge

The legend of Nacoochee, whose name is attached to that lovely valley just south of Helen in White County, is well known.

June 24, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Woman found ‘lost’ family in Gainesville

Gainesville's standing as a health resort in the late 1800s and early 1900s played a part in the reunion of family members who lost touch with one another over 30 years.

June 17, 2012 | 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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