The Old Volumes of Yankee Magazine

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In a small room on the second floor of Yankee are bookshelves lined with the old-timers—the bound volumes of the magazine since the day we began in 1935. I came on board in October 1979, so naturally I feel more kinship with the volumes that date from my arrival, sort of like an album of family pictures where I know all the faces. The ones from before then still feel like family, but from another time, the great-uncles and -aunts I never really got to spend much time with.

From time to time I bring home a volume or two and just thumb through them. Besides a certain nostalgia and curiosity about the magazine from a few decades back, I’m fascinated to see New England re-emerge as I turn the pages. This past weekend I did just that, and I’m telling you, I was more entertained than by anything I could have put on the television.

Let me just tell you about one trip down memory lane and see whether you agree.

This came from the September 1978 issue. Its title, “Two Whole Towns for Sale,” pretty much sums it up. Yankee‘s eternally popular “House for Sale” Moseyer (whose identity has been a closely guarded secret from the public ever since I came here) had found one heck of a story. Basically, the entire village of Cambridgeport, Vermont, about halfway between Saxtons River and Grafton Village, was up for grabs. Consider what the Moseyer wrote: “On its main street, Route 121, are 14 houses in addition to the church, Bell’s garage/post office/store, and the plant of Unified Data Products Corp. Of these, a dozen are either openly for sale or most certainly available if you made an offer. Raymond Cushing owns four, including his own, and not including a fifth which he thinks he has sold. One is a little place east of the church for $13,000. Another is a nine-room brick house at $18,000… It would appear you could purchase almost all of Cambridgeport, including the old mill and pond, for somewhere in the vicinity of $200,00, probably less…”

Well, don’t you think that gets our attention today? I’m not immune to the “what-if” game we all play at times. What if you’d bought this little Vermont town 30 years ago — what might you have done with it? It’s a make-believe yet curiously real game of New England Monopoly. I think I may just have to ask the Moseyer to head back to Cambridgeport one of these days to see what happened to all those Vermont houses.

  • Hi Elaine,
    He sounds like a fascinating man. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a story fitting that description in our online archives. Good luck with your search!

  • Looking for an article about a man from Cambridge Ma. He was a child prodigy and was interested in astronomy. His parents were college professors at Harvard. My grandmother Delia Spellman was his nanny and she often told us stories about him talking several languages and making calendars for her. I am 70 but I would love to know his name. I do know the article was on the last page “the archives” it may have been 20 years ago my father showed it to me . Just very curious. He used to tell my grandmother she. Was the only one that loved him.

  • I have found a copy of That New England- compiled by the Editors of Yankee Magazine-Copyright-1966. If anyone knows anything about this book, I would appreciate knowing about it. Thanks, Mary Ellen

  • Aimee,
    My Dad just told me he went by James ,middle name, not Napoleon.

  • My Dad said his grandfather passed away in 1939. I assume a photo of him as a veteran of the Spanish American War had to be taken in the 1930’s? Do you have any other ideas to locate him?

  • I am asking again if any one remembers a story back in the seventies about the life of a lightkeepers wife .My dad and I loved this story and I would love to find it again. Thank you for any help. jean

  • Aimee,
    I do not know which issue or year but will see if my Dad remembers. Thank you for responding to my request.

  • Hi Nancy. Yankee has been in print since 1935, so there are an awful lot of issues the story could be in! Do you know when the story was published (year? decade?) or what the story was about? If possible, we will try and help you out. Thanks!

  • Hello, I am trying to find an issue that has my Great Grandfather,s photograph. He was a soldier in the spanish-American war, Napoleon Corriveau. The photo has the Vermont soldiers and my Dad said the names of the soldiers were listed. Does any one have acopy of this issue?

  • Hi Jennifer. I just contacted you via email with a follow-up. Thanks!

  • Hi! I’m looking for the April 1974 edition pages 148-149. It apparently shows pictures of the Robert Gould house in Hull, MA. Robert is my husband’s ancestor and I’d love to get a hold of those pictures.

  • Have almost all of the 1935-1941 issues, recently donated to our local library. Would be glad to find someone who would make a donation to the library to own them. Can photograph them and list them if anyone has interest.

  • Would like to get a nice print of June 59 cover, also May 64

  • Suzanne

    Hi Ann,
    I would love your Dad’s collection of old Yankee magazines. IN fact I was just on line looking for old back issues. As a child my parents had a subscription to Yankee and I used to love curling up in my window seat with it on a winters night , or up in my willow tree on a summers day…. We lived in an old house in New England ( still do). I used to complain bitterly about the long meandering drives my parents toted me on all over the back roads of New England, but secretly I loved it….and sadly the face of New England is changing and the only way I can see it again is through my old books and old Yankee magazines….the old timers are dying out…and sadly so is their way of life…..so your fathers collection would have a good home in my home….I’d be happy to compensate or better yet , make a trade!

  • charlie

    Issues of Yankee (various) from 1962-75 – where would I look for people who’d like to purchase? I have fifteen. My apologies if this is inappropriate here.

  • Hi- did you ever find the 1970’s Yankee issue you were looking for? My father just passed away and left a collection of every issue of Yankee since 1970.. I am looking for someone who wants the collection if you know of anyone..I am not trying to sell it. Just give it a good home.

  • Back in the early 60’s ( maybe late ’59 thru ’66) my grandfather advertised handcrafted seagulls for sale. His name was George C. Taylor, 125 Vernon Street, Wakefield, Massachusetts. I have contacted Yankee magazine to try to buy and issued that had his ad, but they couldn’t help me.

    If your time permits, could you look thru some of your old issues to find his advertisement so I could then try to purchase an issue online? Or perhaps, maybe you would be willing to sell me one.

    Looking forward to hear from you.


    Bill Taylor

  • Brenda

    Hi Lois,
    I’m afraid our online archives do not go back that far. Good luck with your search!


  • I’d like to find an article I read in Yankee probably 30 years ago. It was the story of a teenaged girl who, during the Great Depression, road her horse from somewhere on Cape Cod to a town in Vermont where she had found a job. Is there any way I can find this?

  • Robert

    Whale of a tale. I’m looking for a copy of the Yankee that has an illustration by Robert Childress titled a whale of a tale. does anyone know what month and year. I would love to get a copy.

  • I hope someone can help me. In the seventies I read a wonderful story about the life of a lightkeepers wife. I would love to have a copy of this. Hope someone remembers. Thanks

  • A google search led me here. Perhaps you can help me find a back issue of Yankee magazine from the 1970s that contained a photo of my great grandfather Eugene McCarthy of Waitsfield, VT. In 1896, at the Waitsfield Fairground, he was dragged aloft by a rope tethered to a hot air balloon, upside down. He survived. Someone took a photo of him hanging from the balloon. This photo appeared in Yankee magazine, if memory serves me correctly. My grandmother had a copy in her home. You can reach me at carl_b_mccarthy at hotmail.com Thanks very much!

  • Mel,
    I’m a new member on here, and admit I am one of those people who is ‘homesick for new england’ even though I’ve never lived there. I’ve dreamed of living in vermont ever since I was little even though I’ve never been; my favorite school librarian moved away to Weathersfield, VT when I was a child and sent me a postcard, and ever since, I have felt that my heart belongs to a place I’ve never set foot in.
    I am looking forward to keeping up with your blog…please know how fortunate you are to live in such a beautiful corner of the world!

  • Yankee reader since 1955. Agreed. It has always been a magazine to spend time on, curl up with, and get to know. I am always pulling down old issues and re-reading them with renewed interest. After all, I have changed and (I hope) grown since the previous reading. Some favorites have been read 20-30 times!
    Have, over the years, tried to acquire them all. The most difficult to find are 1935 and 1951-1952.
    Thanks people for a wonderful and classic publication.

  • Well I have some of those back issues (mostly Sept & Oct issues) and I have to say I enjoy going back over them when I find the time in my busy techno life.
    I just got my Mar/April Yankee and if the folks missed it, they should run do not walk to your local news stand and get a copy. I usually read one or maybe two stories but this issue had bunches of stories that made me want to slow down and read them.

    Any who… This was one of the best issues and I read it all the way through. The article on Vermont reclaiming their old back roads or unknown roads that haven’t been roads for several years (like a hundred + yrs) was very interesting to me.

    I don’t know whether or not Vt towns will be able to benefit from this but it could mean some new pathways for us in the fall to travel… (if not all yr long)

    I mean could you imagine a walking tour where the guide walks you through the old home steads where now there may only be a portion of an old stone wall or some cellar walls.
    And at the same time you get to spend time out in the woods and see old stands of fall foliage trees…
    It might be a good tourism boost…

    What do all of you think?

  • For all of us who work at Yankee Publishing, a short research assignment in the Yankee archives can turn into an enormous time sink. I am often struck, as I page through the old volumes of Yankee, how a “new” idea we are considering has been done — and well — in the past.

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