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Column: More history trivia to test your knowledge
Johnny Vardeman

Since this column provided a local history trivia quiz some weeks ago, some readers have requested a sequel.

So here are some questions about local history with answers at the bottom of this column:

1. What Confederate soldier’s statue once stood on the Federal Building corner at Washington and Green in Gainesville?

2. What two jewelry stores once stood side by side on Gainesville’s square?

3. What was the name of the shoe company that once flourished in Flowery Branch?

4. What businesses occupied the Chamblee Building at the corner of then-Sycamore/Athens Street and Summit in Gainesville?

5. What was the name of the branch library that once stood across from Fair Street School in Gainesville?

6. What was the name of the ice cream company that once operated in Gainesville?

7. What year did Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville open?

8. Where did the Gainesville Daily Times, now The Times, originally operate?

9.  What former church building still stands on Spring Street across from Northeast Georgia Medical Center?

10. Before big-box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s, what family-owned lumber companies served Northeast Georgia for decades?

11. What was the name of the infants’ wear manufacturer that once operated on Chestnut Street in Gainesville?

12. What was the name of the Brown’s Bridge Road restaurant that featured an Elvis Presley impersonator?

13. What savings and loan association once occupied the bank building between The Times and the old Coca-Cola building on Gainesville’s Green Street?

14. Who were the first Black police officers in Gainesville?

15. What Hall Countian is credited with finding the first gold nugget in the Colorado gold rush?


1. Col. C.C. Candler, who became a prominent Gainesville businessman after the Civil War. The 1936 tornado destroyed the statue, most of which ended up on the steps of the then-First Baptist Church. At the time, the statue was the only Confederate monument on federal property. That part of the Federal Building served as Gainesville’s Post Office for many years. Parts of the statue are on display at the Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University.

2. Mintz Jewelers and Gem Jewelry once stood side by side at 113 and 115 Spring St. on the downtown square. Gem Jewelry only recently went out of business at its location on Bradford Street downtown.

3. Georgia Shoe Manufacturing Co.

4. Burns Barber Shop, Athens Street Café, Greenlee Funeral Home and Chamblee Drugs.

5. Clara Belle McCrary, named after the librarian who served the community for many years.

6. Crescent Ice Cream Co. Its final location was on West Spring Street in the building occupied by Ninth District Opportunity today.

7. Lakeshore Mall opened in 1969 as Lakeshore Plaza. Its first anchor stores were JCPenney and Rose’s. Belk joined in 1973 and later also occupied the space Rose’s vacated. At its height, the mall featured Sears, a cafeteria, food court, movie theater and a number of businesses that formerly operated on Gainesville’s downtown square or other locations. 

8. The Gainesville Daily Times occupied the former Ward’s Funeral Home at the corner of Maple and Washington streets, where Urbain Hair Artistry is today, 311 Washington St. S.W.. It later moved to Spring Street where Ninth District Opportunity is today, and in 1970 moved into the present building on Green Street.

9. St. Michael’s Catholic Church. The building now houses offices. The first Catholic services were held in the home of Gen. James Longstreet, which is now occupied by Winner Wellness Center, 746 Green St.

10. Davis-Washington Co. on Maple Street and Chambers Lumber Co. on South Main Street.

11. Warren-Featherbone. The building now houses a number of business and educational enterprises.

12. The Lantern Inn, just across Brown’s Bridge, featured an Elvis impersonator who helped cook and serve food before his performance.

13. First Federal Savings and Loan, 311 Green St., whose leader was Buford Battle. It later became Great Southern Federal and had branches in Lakeshore Mall, Brown’s Bridge Road, Cumming and Dahlonega. Pinnacle Bank now is located in the Gainesville building.

14. Royce Stephens and Ernest Earls.

15. James Pierce.

Watch for more local history in this column next Sunday.

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