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Johnny Vardeman: Check yourself on local history, area landmarks
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Some miscellaneous historical trivia to test your knowledge of Northeast Georgia: (Answers below.)

1. Who is considered the founder of Riverside Military Academy?

2. Where was Riverside’s second home until Gainesville became its year-round home?

3. What family operated Gainesville theaters downtown in the 1950s?

4. What was the name of the theater owned by the same family on what was then Athens Street, now E.E. Butler Parkway?

5. What were the two drive-in theaters in Hall County, and who owned them?

6. What was the park still existing as American Legion Post 7’s property on Lake Lanier?

7. What was the name of the school that many years ago operated on Brown’s Bridge Road near Hilton Drive?

8. Name three churches with the same names in the Hall County area?

9. What three public swimming pools operated in Gainesville in the 1950s and beyond?

10. What street was used as the race track for the Soap Box Derby in Gainesville?

11. Who was the band director for E.E. Butler High School in the 1960s?

12. What was the name of the popular lake that preceded Lake Lanier in Flowery Branch?

13. What was another recreational lake on Cornelia Highway near Gainesville?

14. What is the name of the lake in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Mount Airy?

15. What is the name of the ancient road that was the primary route through North Georgia into Tennessee and western North Carolina?

16. Name some businesses that once operated on old Athens Street in Gainesville?

17. Name some drug stores in downtown Gainesville in the 1950s.

18. What was the funeral home on West Broad Street, now Jesse Jewell Parkway, in a historic home that later was demolished?

19. What was the name of the longtime shoe store on North Bradford Street just off the Gainesville square?

20. What is the significance of Line Bridge in Banks County?

21. Name some of the earliest motels in Gainesville?

22. What other financial institutions previously were situated on the site of the present SunTrust Bank on the corner of Washington and Green streets in Gainesville?

23. What well-known eating place was noted for its lion in a cage in its yard on Cleveland Road, Gainesville?


1. Gen. Sandy Beaver is usually considered the father of the school because of his long association with it. Actually, a group of local citizens, some connected to Brenau College, built the first building for what was to be a military school for boys in 1906. Among them were Brenau professor A.W. Van Hoose, A.J. Warner, H.H. Dean, Dr. J.W. Bailey and M.C. Brown. Beaver served as principal under them, purchased stock in the school and became president in 1913. He bought the school and ran it until 1969, the year he died.

2. Hollywood, Fla.

3. The Plaginos family, first headed by Frank Plaginos, then his son Paul owned the Royal, Ritz and State theaters.

4. The Roxy.

5. Skyview on Atlanta Highway and Lake Lanier on Thompson Bridge Road, operated by John Thompson.

6. Chattahoochee Park at the end of Riverside Drive. Boat docks and a picnic pavilion continue to be used by the public.

7. Laurel Hills.

8. St. Paul United Methodist on Summit Street, St. Paul United Methodist on Washington Street and St. Paul United Methodist on Ga. 60 between Gainesville and Dahlonega.

9. Fair Street, Pine Street and Green Street.

10. The hill on West Washington.

11. Rufus Tucker.

12. Wayne’s Lake.

13. Lake Terrell.

14. Lake Russell.

15. Unicoi Turnpike.

16. Maxie’s Snack Bar, Dock Harrison taxi, Chamblee’s Drug Store, Athens Street Café, Burns Barber Shop, Chew and Chat Café, Price and Thompson Pool Hall, Carter’s Shoe Shop, Neal’s Café, Cobb’s Billiard Parlor, to list a few.

17. Ledford’s, Piedmont, Whatley’s, Imperial, Dixie.

18. Vickers Funeral Home.

19. Nickel-Back.

20. A Revolutionary War battle was fought between American troops led by Col. Elijah Clarke and British and Indian fighters. The bridge was across the Broad River.

21. Avion on what was East Broad Street, Elite and Gainesville Motel on what was West Broad Street and Georgianna on Atlanta Highway.

22. First National Bank and Home Federal Savings and Loan Association.

23. Big Bear Café. The building next to Johnny’s Barbecue now houses a Latino restaurant. The present Big Bear Café is located at 893 Main St. S.W. near the Norfolk Southern Depot.

Johnny Vardeman is retired editor of The Times.