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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Astronomy genius found his gift here

One of the first products of the Gainesville school system was said to be Otis Ashmore, who was considered a genius in astronomy. It was at Gainesville College, as the first city school was called, that teachers are said to have discovered his gift.

His uncle, Thomas Ashmore, was the longtime editor of the famous Grier's Almanac. When he died, Otis Ashmore succeeded him and served from 1882 to 1934. During Otis's tenure, however, the almanac went through bankruptcy and was sold on the courthouse steps in Savannah, where Otis Ashmore had moved to become superintendent of Savannah ...

July 25, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Whelchels, Wilkies; what’s in their name?

Whelchel, Wilkie, Gilkie?

July 18, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Park Hall has strong link to Gainesville

Generations of Gainesville and Hall County students, not to mention the rest of Northeast Georgia, have either had classes in or walked by Park Hall numerous times on the main campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

July 11, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


School closed, its namesake not forgotten

Jones Elementary School may be no more, but the Sylvester B. Jones name lives on as the Hall County school board plans to continue to make use of the building in Chicopee Village.

July 04, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Match firm fired up city in the 1880s

Gainesville has had a variety of industries over time, making everything from ball bearings to chicken pluckers.

June 27, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Anonymity doesn't faze Robertstown

Helen, the Bavarian-themed village in northern White County, is well known around the state and Southeast.

June 20, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


New Holland Springs was popular resort

White Sulphur Springs in eastern Hall County perhaps is the best known of the mineral springs resorts during their heyday in the last part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century.

June 13, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Conventions chose hopefuls for Congress

This year's 9th District U.S. House races are provoking considerable interest despite low voter turnout. It's the first time in several years the election has been close enough for a runoff.

May 30, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Little church by the river marks its 150th year

It's a Methodist church, but instead of sprinkling water on the heads of new members, they more likely will be baptized in the Chattahoochee River that flows just a stone's throw away.

May 23, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Spelling bee words not as tough in 1875

The 19th annual Spelling Bee to benefit the Alliance for Literacy was held a few days ago at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium in Gainesville.

May 16, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County catered to tourists, well and ill

Hall County, somewhat of a health resort in the 1800s and early 1900s, at the time had one of the lowest death rates in the United States.

May 09, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Old whistle gives people time of day

If you've lived around Gainesville a while, you know where that whistle comes from that blows at 8 a.m., noon, 12:30 and 4:30 p.m., Georgia Chair Co. on Industrial Boulevard.

May 02, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


He printed first copies of newspaper in 1947

The guy who cranked out the very first issues of what was then the Gainesville Daily Times Jan. 26, 1947, died the other day.

April 25, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Trunk full of memories returns home

Sometimes you find treasure within a treasure that you weren't even looking for.

April 18, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Electricity was slow to arrive in parts of Hall

Gainesville was one of the first towns in the South to have electricity, courtesy of Gen. A.J. Warner and others who built a hydroelectric plant on the Chestatee River between Gainesville and Dahlonega and later Dunlap Dam on the Chattahoochee River near the site of today's American Legion Post 7.

April 11, 2010 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Horses, mules almost overran ‘Joeless’ square in Gainesville

The picture is of Gainesville's downtown square probably in the early 1900s before motorized vehicles were common and before "Old Joe," the Confederate statue was erected. The view is toward the west side of the square where Saul's, Frames You Nique and other stores stand today.

May 17, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


1920 contents of high school cornerstone unveil history

In the fall of 1920, Hall County students were studying in 21 schools.

May 10, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville was a brick center in early 1900s

In the early 1900s, Gainesville already was becoming known as a poultry center, but it would be another half century before it could boast about being the "World's Broiler Capital."

May 03, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Family finally tells its story of ’36 Gainesville tornado

Because April is high tornado season, and storms are top of mind especially in Northeast Georgia, here's a family's remarkable story about how they survived Gainesville's 1936 tornado despite being in or near the middle of it. They were indeed fortunate they were not among the more than 200 people killed.

April 19, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville residents fought to keep square in 1901

"Old Joe," the Confederate statue on Gainesville's downtown square, almost wasn't to be for a couple of reasons.

April 11, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Anniversary of a different deadly 1936 tornado

Today is the 79th anniversary of the fourth deadliest tornado in United States history.

April 05, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Gainesville Mill added a big jolt to Hall economy

The early 1900s were high times for Gainesville and Hall County.

March 29, 2015 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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