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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Early travel costly, rough on area roads

Toll roads have been in the news in Georgia lately. State officials reneged on a promise to end the toll on Ga. 400 when it was paid for. They also turned a lane of Interstate 85 that tax money had built into a High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane that you have to pay to use now. And there are plans and discussions about other toll roads in the Atlanta area.

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


Hall County library had to struggle from get-go

While in recent years, Hall County Library has expanded its reach with branches in most sections of the county, the road has been bumpy for the public library movement.

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


Pea Ridge put suspense in bond vote

Before increasing sales taxes became the popular method to finance improvements, local governments often used bond issues to finance capital items, especially schools and government buildings.

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


Gainesville's changes in council structure come rarely

With state legislation to add an elected mayor to Gainesville City Council getting final approval, it would be the first substantive change since the city went from a three-person commission to five in 1958.

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


Wire walker over Tallulah excited crowd

Summer of 1970 was hot in more ways than one in Georgia.

March 25, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County's early days: Mint juleps, mountain dew and chickens

Back about the turn of the 20th century, Hall County was an up-and-coming corner of the state, but some of its leaders felt snubbed by other areas that didn't see its potential.

March 11, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Main Street Gang relives its old school days

When the old Main Street School in Gainesville was demolished to make way for a Hall County jail, the cornerstone and its contents were salvaged.

March 04, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Rich history, controversy mark jail site

If it weren't such a serious matter, it almost would be funny, this dispute over the former Hall County jail property on South Main Street in Gainesville.

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


First seniors really earned their diplomas

Seven boys and six girls earned Gainesville High School's first diplomas in 1894.

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


Movie made in mountains almost stalled

The original script of the movie "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain," which was filmed in White County in 1950, reveals how much a story goes through before making it to theaters.

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


Small steps meant a lot to minorities in 1947

There was a lot going on that inaugural year of 1947 for the Gainesville Daily Times, the name now shortened to simply The Times. The newspaper just marked its 65th year last month.

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


How a Ham tried to roast a terrapin bill

Georgia is moving to protect 19 species of turtles threatened by commercial pet trade or imports to Asian countries that use them for soup and folk medicine. Not to mention they rank right up there with armadillos and possums as road kill in some sections.

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


Southerners turned down charity offers

Many Confederate soldiers, even their officers, were in dire straits the years after the Civil War.

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


North Ga. drew attention during 1920s

A lot was going on in North Georgia in the Roaring '20s. That was when Johnson & Johnson decided on Hall County for its Chicopee Manufacturing Corp. model mill village.

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


Corner lot on square has varied history

When Gainesville was laid out, Lot No. 1 at the corner of Spring and Main streets where Hunt Towers is today was the prime place on the public square.

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


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Articles by Section - 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


Many memories made in Brenau sorority houses

During the recent razing of several sorority houses at Brenau University in Gainesville, students and alumni gathered in groups at times to snap photos and hopefully get a brick or other piece of memorabilia from the rubble.

August 24, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Sacks store was mainstay on city square

The east side of Gainesville's downtown square in the 1950s was dominated by clothing stores, most of them what you would consider discount shops today.

August 17, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Seeding ground with gold failed to profit crooks

At the height of the Lumpkin County gold rush, people from all over the country were coming to North Georgia to pursue their personal fortune. Locals sometimes were prone to take advantage of gullible outside prospectors.

August 10, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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