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Column: How much do you know about local history?
Johnny Vardeman

It’s time for another local history trivia quiz. 

Some of these questions have appeared in this column previously, so readers should be able to score high marks.

1. Who was the longtime president of Riverside Military Academy credited with growing the school and bringing it into national prominence?

2. Who was the founder of the Industrial School that once operated off Athens Highway in Gainesville?

3. What was the name of the Hall Countian who operated a private mint during North Georgia’s gold mining days?

4. Where was Gainesville’s first golf course located?

5. What North Hall church was instrumental in pioneering education for children in that area?

6. What was the name of the restaurant just across Brown’s Bridge on Lake Lanier that featured an Elvis Presley impersonator?

7. What was the name of the restaurant on Cleveland Road in Gainesville that once had a bear and later a lion in a cage outside?

8. What was the name of the bakery famous for fantail bread on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville?

9. What were two local lumber companies that operated in Gainesville for many years?

10. What was the name of the local hardware company on Auburn Avenue in Gainesville that was considered “old-fashioned” and sold nails and other items in bulk?

11. What was the name of the Gainesville elementary school off Dorsey Street that operated for years in the southwestern part of the city?

12. What was the nickname for the old Fair Street High School football team?

13. Gainesville’s old swimming pool next to City Park had been called “Green Street Swimming Pool” until it closed several years ago. What was the official name of the pool?

14. For whom is American Legion Post 7 in Gainesville named?

15. For whom is the Quinlan Art Center in Gainesville named?

16. Name three furniture stores that were operating in downtown Gainesville

in the 1980s.

17. For whom was the town of Demorest in Habersham County named?

18. How did the Hall County community of Klondike get its name?

19. For whom is Maysville in Jackson County named?


1. Sandy Beaver

2. Beulah Rucker Oliver founded the Rucker Industrial School and a veterans night school. A museum dedicated to her legacy is located off Athens Highway.

3. Templeton Reid

4. At the end of Riverside Drive where American Legion Post 7 is located today.

5. Concord Baptist Church started a two-teacher school in the late 1880s, later known as Concord Academy. It shared a building with Chattahoochee High School, which existed until Hall County established a countywide public system. The church continues to operate an elementary and pre-school.

6. The Lantern Inn

7. Big Bear Café

8. The Cake Box

9. Davis-Washington and Chambers

10. Britt Martin

11. Miller Park. Before the school, there was a park by that name, named for Mrs. Joe Miller, who persuaded city officials to acquire the property and build a playground for children in that area.

12. Tigers

13. Dan S. Denton, former Gainesville city manager, who died from injuries in a traffic accident. He was instrumental in seeing the pool built in 1933. Denton Drive off Ridgewood Avenue in Gainesville also is apparently named for him.

14. Paul E. Bolding, second Hall County serviceman to die in World War I.

15. Leslie Quinlan, who operated Owen-Osborne hosiery mill in Gainesville, philanthropist, civic leader and supporter of the arts.

16. Pilgrim-Estes at the corner of Brenau Avenue and North Bradford Street, Reeves Furniture at 115 Green St., and Martin Furniture, which still operates at 121 Bradford N.W.

17. W. J. Demorest, an industrialist from New York.

18. The original Klondike was the gold fields in the Canadian Yukon. Adams Canning Co., which operated in the Hall County community, applied the name as its trademark label.

19. An early settler John May. Its original name was Midway.

Johnny Vardeman is retired editor of The Times. He can be reached at 2183 Pine Tree Circle NE, Gainesville, GA 30501; phone, 770-532-2326; email, or His column publishes weekly.

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