Jim Collins

Yankee Magazine

Classic Christmas Stories | A Visit to New Sweden, Maine, December 1991

The day of celebrating light dawns dark and cheerless. A cold east wind drives freezing mist up the valley, out of Caribou, across a half-dozen miles of frozen Aroostook potato field. In New Sweden the farmhouses are lit. On Jacobson Hill and Bondeson Corner, on Route 161 toward Jemtland, smoke rises from chimneys to greet […]


Rene Rancourt | Boston’s National Anthem Singer

Excerpt from a 1990 interview with Rene Rancourt, “Oh, Rene, Can You Sing,” Yankee Magazine, January 1990. It’s 6:25 in the press room behind Section 47 of the Boston Garden, 65 minutes before face-off. Hardened hockey-beat reporters sit on hard plastic chairs, sip soft drinks, and deal cards; others scribble self-consciously in their notebooks in […]

Shimmering Pond
Yankee Magazine

Swimming Holes | New England Summer Tradition

Children come of age in the cold,deep swimming holes of summer. I grew up in the village of Walpole, New Hampshire, a mile from a little swimming hole called “Hovey’s.” It was nothing more than a deep spot in a brook, really–probably not known to more than a handful of local families. But I can […]

Jim Collins
Yankee Magazine

An Island of One’s Own

For a time in the 1980s, I lived in a small log cabin on a small island in one of the lakes scattered around Mount Monadnock in southwestern New Hampshire. The island tucked into the back of a shallow cove, less than a hundred feet from shore. From a distance–almost until you were right on […]

Yankee Magazine

Run of the River | Hydro Power Plant Restoration

Bob King stands at the headworks of an old, 18-foot-high hemlock-and-stone crib dam spanning the Westfield River between Agawam and West Springfield, Massachusetts. It’s mid-April 2012, in the midst of what has been a historically warm spring following an unnaturally dry winter, and the only water coming over the dam shoots through two open sluiceways […]

Yankee Magazine

Holiday Tradition | Christmas Pageant

In 1909, a young New Hampshire farm girl named Lucy Wells looked forward all fall to the event of the season: the Christmas pageant at South Danbury Christian Church. Weeks ahead of time, she set about making presents by hand for her sister Caroline and her parents, and throughout November she practiced her part in […]

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