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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville’s 1950s festivals put poultry on a pedestal

The Spring Chicken Festival held in downtown Gainesville this weekend surely must stir memories of those who remember the very popular Georgia Poultry Festival staged in the 1950s and '60s, just when the poultry industry was beginning to take off in Northeast Georgia.

April 27, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | 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


‘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


Small church, full-size faith, enrich history

Mildred Martin, 86, a member of Chestatee Baptist Church since a baby, remembers when the building was heated by a pot-bellied stove.

March 16, 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


Frigid winter conjures talk of ‘back when’

When a winter like Northeast Georgia is having this year, when electricity and gas bills soar, when firewood runs low, and school schedules are slammed, people begin to reminisce about winters past, those that stand out.

February 16, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


WWI aviator from Hall had some close calls

One of the first military aviators from Hall County who fought in World War I had some narrow escapes in the air, but luckily returned with hardly a scratch.

February 09, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Longstreets told whole world why they wed

Even in this more tolerant time, eyebrows are raised when a much older guy or gal marries a much younger gal or guy.

February 02, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


The day fire destroyed Longstreet’s home in Gainesville

Picture Gainesville in the late 1800s. It was billed as one of the South's great health resorts because of its numerous nearby mineral springs. It had a dozen lodging places, including the Piedmont Hotel operated by famed Confederate Gen. James Longstreet.

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


Norwegian son follows mom’s path to Georgia

Liv Reinhardt Myklebust, a Norwegian, traveled to the United States in 1980 to attend Brenau University in Gainesville on a Georgia Rotary Student scholarship.

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


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Two journalists of note began their careers in Gainesville

You never know where a bicycle ride will take you.

January 25, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Where some names originate in North Georgia

A new street sign went up in Gainesville the other day - Sweet Bay Drive, the entrance to Atlanta Botanical Gardens' Smithgall Woodland Gardens off Cleveland Road.

January 18, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


You’re Old Hall County if you remember these

A version of this column ran in March 2000.

January 11, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


First wireless message sent in 1911 from ship to Brenau

"Wireless" is a common term in today's age of modern electronics. It allows people to use their electronic devices in a variety of locations or situations.

December 28, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Two kin from the area died decades apart serving cause

The story of Hugh Minor Sr. has been well told. He was the Dawson County native and pioneer airplane pilot who lived much of his early life in Gainesville.

December 21, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How Hall County reacted after Pearl Harbor

Just as the attack by Japanese on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, came on a Sunday, so is today's 73rd anniversary of that fateful day.

December 07, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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