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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


‘Miracle man’ earned renown as horticulturist

Gainesville native Iverson D. Hudgins was characterized "a miracle man" because he survived the 1936 tornado despite being caught in the vortex of the twister, thrown high above his house, landing midst all manner of debris and leaving him with 17 fractures and nails in one eye and his jaw.

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


1936 tornado victim fought for life after storm struck

There are so many stories that have been told and retold about the 1936 tornado that caused more than 200 deaths in the heart of Gainesville.

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


River ford bandits’ lair is gone, but legends live

Woolley's Ford was one of those places on rivers in Northeast Georgia where people would cross either wading across shallows or riding a ferry. Bridges weren't all that common on such streams as the Chattahoochee or Chestatee until the late 1800s.

March 30, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pioneer Hall pastor, store merchant forgave debts

The first minister of Chestatee Baptist Church, John Edward "Jackie" Rives, was a successful farmer and merchant who turned preacher in 1833 after hearing a stirring sermon on swearing, a sin he admitted he was guilty of.

March 23, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Small church, full-size faith, enrich history

Mildred Martin, 86, a member of Chestatee Baptist Church since a baby, remembers when the building was heated by a pot-bellied stove.

March 16, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Drawn into history: Gainesville cartoonist to continue legacy of ‘Mark Trail’ comic

Jack Elrod spent much of his childhood roaming the rivers and woods around Gainesville and North Georgia.

March 09, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Helen’s Helen was a Missouri social butterfly

If it weren't for the preference of Southern cooks for white flour in the early 1900s, there might not be a Helen, Ga., as it is today.

March 02, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chicopee looked at Lula for its model village

Iris Thompson Fry of Lula is somewhat of a hoarder - not the kind you see on television, but a hoarder of memories and stories.

February 23, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Frigid winter conjures talk of ‘back when’

When a winter like Northeast Georgia is having this year, when electricity and gas bills soar, when firewood runs low, and school schedules are slammed, people begin to reminisce about winters past, those that stand out.

February 16, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


WWI aviator from Hall had some close calls

One of the first military aviators from Hall County who fought in World War I had some narrow escapes in the air, but luckily returned with hardly a scratch.

February 09, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Longstreets told whole world why they wed

Even in this more tolerant time, eyebrows are raised when a much older guy or gal marries a much younger gal or guy.

February 02, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


The day fire destroyed Longstreet’s home in Gainesville

Picture Gainesville in the late 1800s. It was billed as one of the South's great health resorts because of its numerous nearby mineral springs. It had a dozen lodging places, including the Piedmont Hotel operated by famed Confederate Gen. James Longstreet.

January 26, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Norwegian son follows mom’s path to Georgia

Liv Reinhardt Myklebust, a Norwegian, traveled to the United States in 1980 to attend Brenau University in Gainesville on a Georgia Rotary Student scholarship.

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


Col. Candler defied mob to protect Union officer

An incident during the Civil War tells much about the character of A.D. Candler of Gainesville, who later served as mayor, U.S. representative and as Georgia's governor.

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


‘Bloody 9th’ was slow to report election night returns

This election year, voting results from the various precincts around the 9th Congressional District will show up on computer screens and other electronic devices not long after the polls close.

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


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Articles by Section - 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


Many memories made in Brenau sorority houses

During the recent razing of several sorority houses at Brenau University in Gainesville, students and alumni gathered in groups at times to snap photos and hopefully get a brick or other piece of memorabilia from the rubble.

August 24, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Sacks store was mainstay on city square

The east side of Gainesville's downtown square in the 1950s was dominated by clothing stores, most of them what you would consider discount shops today.

August 17, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Seeding ground with gold failed to profit crooks

At the height of the Lumpkin County gold rush, people from all over the country were coming to North Georgia to pursue their personal fortune. Locals sometimes were prone to take advantage of gullible outside prospectors.

August 10, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Glory, it’s ’mater sammich time again

Editor's note: For many years, Johnny Vardeman, retired editor of The Times, would write his annual "'mater sammich" column as homegrown tomatoes started coming in during the summer. "'Maters and Music" will be the theme for a tomato sandwich event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center one mile north of Vogel State Park, 9 miles south of Blairsville on U.S. 129.

August 03, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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