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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Moonshiner making legal white lightnin’ now

Dwight Bearden was 6 or 7 years old when he first started helping his father on their liquor still north of Dawsonville.

April 20, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | 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


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


City’s park and rec program began with $1,000 purchase

The lights decorating the Gainesville Civic Center and its front campus provide a perfect bookend to the annual Christmas on Green Street with the holly tree lighted by the Rotary Club at the other end of the historic street.

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


How Hall County reacted after Pearl Harbor

Just as the attack by Japanese on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, came on a Sunday, so is today's 73rd anniversary of that fateful day.

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


Brenau landed in Paris, wooed New York, Washington

Brenau University perhaps is in its most aggressive mode in its history with all the building going on at its expanding Gainesville campus and its arms spread wide to locations in Atlanta, Augusta and King's Bay.

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


Late Gov. Carl Sanders kept substantial ties to Hall

Carl Sanders, the Georgia governor from 1963-67, who died last week, had a lot of Gainesville connections.

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


Vintage Gainesville photos stir memories, show changes

Nothing funner on a rainy day than pulling out family photo albums, reminiscing and laughing over how you, your children, grandchildren and others have changed through the years.

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


Veterans Day honors military heroes of all conflicts

Tuesday is Veterans Day, when at the 11th hour on the 11th day of November, the 11th month, citizens and veterans across the country honor and remember veterans of all wars.

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


How survivor escaped flames in pants plant

The Cooper Pants Factory historical marker at the corner of Maple and Broad streets in Gainesville has been appropriately unveiled in remembrance of those who died in the 1936 tornado, specifically those killed in the tragic fire that engulfed the pants factory.

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


Original copy of Gainesville High paper dates to 1902

Gainesville High School students and alumni are familiar with The Trumpeter, the school newspaper for decades.

October 26, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | 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


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