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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County man rose to prominence as an orator

One of Hall County's most colorful characters was H.W.J. Ham, a journalist and lawyer who became nationally famous as an orator.

September 13, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chautauquas entertained, enlightened before TV, radio

Scientists and assorted tinkerers were just beginning to dabble in radio about the turn of the 20th century. It would be a couple of decades before entrepreneurs and listeners would realize its potential as a mass medium.

September 06, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pendergrass was a thriving town in early 1900s

It is no accident Pendergrass in Jackson County is about halfway between Athens and Gainesville.

August 30, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


'Mark Trail' continues a longtime local link

For more than six decades, "Mark Trail" has been a fixture in newspaper funnies. It was birthed by a Gainesville man, continued by another Gainesvillian, and a third Gainesville artist has dipped his pen in it recently.

August 23, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


'Ghost Town' health resort in Lumpkin County drew crowds

In the 1950s and perhaps later, a favorite pastime for some high school and college students was to explore what they called "Ghost Town" in Lumpkin County.

August 16, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Nalleys keep ’em in the road in tough times

The Nalley name continues on 10 Atlanta area car dealerships, but the Nalley family no longer is involved directly in them. Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., a multibillion-dollar business, acquired most of the Nalley car enterprises in 1997, with Jim Nalley remaining as a partner and chief executive officer. His and wife Rene's three sons, Clay (C.V. Nalley IV), Street and Slater, continued working for Asbury.

August 02, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Nalley autos cranked up in Gainesville

When Jim Nalley was growing up in Gainesville in the 1950s, his main hang-out was his father's Chevrolet dealership on South Main Street.

July 26, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


What visitors to Gainesville saw in 1908

A visitor to Gainesville in 1908 wrote about what he liked about the city.

July 19, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Good reading to lift you up on down days

Six Gainesville friends were together on a Caribbean cruise in May 1996. When the ship returned to port, three stayed for another day to tour Miami.

July 12, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County was feeling its oats in 1920s

Even when it was tiny with mostly volunteer staff, the chamber of commerce for Gainesville and Hall County was aggressive in promoting the area.

July 05, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


19th century teacher had tough words for parents

Educators sometimes are frustrated that parents don't get more involved in their children's education. But their problems today hardly compare to the late 1800s when children were expected to pull their weight on the family farm.

June 28, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Lulans are proud of their veterans from past wars

For Lula being no bigger than it is, the east Hall County town has supplied its country with more than its share of military heroes.

June 21, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Mayflower Café started tasty career

If you lived in Hall County or nearby in the 1950s, more than likely you had a meal at the Mayflower Café.

June 14, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Letters home shed light on World War I

Communication from overseas to back home was painstakingly slow during World War I, and it mostly consisted of letters from soldiers to their parents, other relatives or friends.

June 07, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How it was on the homefront during World War I

Plenty of veterans of World War II remain and even more people who remember the war.

May 31, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


How much do you know about Lake Lanier, local history?

Time for another little local history trivia quiz. Answers follow:

October 19, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Timely rains kept schedule for filling lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local leaders broke ground for Buford Dam in 1949, and it would be another seven years before the first trickle of water from the Chattahoochee River would begin to form Lake Lanier.

October 12, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Cooper Pants Factory marker finally to honor victims of '36 tragedy

A mother and her two daughters were among those killed in the Cooper Pants Factory fire that started during the 1936 Gainesville tornado.

October 05, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Film to depict Jackson pilot’s WWII escapes

Jackson Countians know why the Jefferson bypass on U.S. 129 south of Gainesville is named for Major Damon J. Gause. Many others, even in neighboring counties, might not know that he was a World War II hero, whose remarkable story about multiple escapes from the Japanese will be told in a Public Broadcasting documentary next year.

September 28, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Ex-principal to mark 100th at old school

Frances Miller Haynes will turn 100 years old Oct. 1. Appropriately, she will celebrate in advance Saturday in the building with which she is most identified – Candler Street School just off North Green Street in Gainesville.

September 21, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Businesses along Atlanta Highway roll with the times

Even longtime North Georgia residents are struck at how Gainesville's Atlanta Highway transformed so quickly.

September 14, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Who recalls the final film shown at the Royal?

Many remember the movie "The Last Picture Show," which came out in 1971 and starred Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd. It was about a dying Texas town whose businesses, including the movie show, were failing.

September 07, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Slaughterhouse Creek’s history includes mines, meat operation

Connie Propes and other neighbors where Wal-Mart is building a grocery and installing gas pumps on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville are researching the history of the area, in particular Slaughterhouse Creek, which might be affected by rainfall runoff from the development. The creek eventually feeds into Lake Lanier.

August 31, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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