The processing of this collection was funded
by gifts from the Pingree heirs.
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Penobscot Boom Corporation (Me.)
Penobscot Boom Corporation
2 linear feet (2 boxes)
The Penobscot Boom Corporation
records contain correspondence, financial, and legal records mostly from the
corporation's activities in the 1850s.
SERIES I. Correspondence SERIES II. Financial and Legal Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Penobscot Boom Corporation records contain correspondence, financial, and legal
records mostly from the corporation's activities in the 1850s. This collection is
arranged in two series.
Series I. Correspondence contains correspondence
about the operation of the Penobscot Boom Corporation. The majority of the
correspondence is between David Pingree (1799-1863) and John Winn, Pingree's agent.
Series II. Financial and Legal Papers contains
accounts, bills, receipts, and materials detailing some of the legal problems that
the Corporation faced in the 1850s. Within this series are stock transfers and
capital stock agreements.
In 1832, the Penobscot Boom Corporation was incorporated
by the Maine House of Representatives. A lumber baron by the name of Rufus Dwinel
and his associates had formed the Corporation to erect and maintain a boom across
the Stillwater branch of the Penobscot River between Birch Stream and Eber's Point,
for the purpose of stopping and securing logs, masts, spars, and other lumber
floating upon said river. The incorporation of the business was granted for thirty
years and also gave them the right to erect piers and side or branch booms, where it
was thought necessary, between Hemlock Island and Orson Island, between Birch Stream
and Pushaw Falls, and between Pea Cove and the outlet between Orson and Marsh
Islands. The charter provided that the booms had to be constructed to allow the safe
passage of rafts and boats. The Corporation had to allow everyone the same privilege
of landing rafts of logs, boards, and other lumber. It was also the responsibility
of the Corporation to guard the passageways in the boom so that no lumber could slip
through. The Penobscot Boom Corporation was also allowed to charge a toll; failure
to pay the toll could result in a lien on all of the logs boomed (Charter).
In 1833, Dwinel sold the franchise and the property to General Samuel Veazie,
who found Pea Cove to be an inadequate location for the increasing amount of lumber,
and built a boom at Argyle in the winter of 1836 to 1837. In 1838, the state
legislature amended an act to the original charter, allowing the Governor and
Legislative Council to appoint three men as a Boom Committee, with the authority to
manage the boom with the purpose of expediting the work of the boom. This three
person committee continued into the twentieth century (Hempstead 17). In 1847, David
Pingree (1795-1863) purchased the boom from Veazie (Hempstead 20).
In 1854 a conflict between the Corporation and the lumbermen who used the boom,
over the price of the tolls, ended up in the state's legislature. The outcome of
this conflict was the creation of the Penobscot Lumbering Association to represent
the interest of the lumbermen and an amendment to the Corporation's charter,
allowing it to rent the boom and its property to the new association. This
arrangement continued into the twentieth century (Hempstead 21).
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons,
or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Coe, Eben Smith, 1814-1899
Dwinel, Rufus, 1804-1869
Pingree, David, 1795-1863
Winn, John D.
Booms (Log transportation)
Penobscot River (Me.)
Penobscot River (Me.)--History
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex