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Archive By Section - 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


Peach pickin’ time continues an annual rite

It is approaching peak peach time in North Georgia. Trips to Jaemor Farms near Lula and other orchards in that area will become more frequent. Peaches will be showing up more often in the backs of trucks parked at local farmers' markets.

June 10, 2012 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Stores keep on the move these days, too

There have been so many changes among Gainesville's business districts over the years, you can't keep track of them.

March 01, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hope family’s ancestors were early settlers in the region

Bob Hope once lived in Gainesville.

February 15, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Local radio acts launched performers on music careers

When local radio was in its pioneer stages, live acts, mostly country and gospel music, were a significant part of the programming.

February 08, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville’s first postmaster was pushed out of job by politics

Wiley Harben held the distinction of being Gainesville's first postmaster, appointed in 1823. He also had the distinction of being the first postmaster to lose his job for purely political reasons.

February 01, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | 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


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