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Special Collections: Guide to the Penobscot Lumbering Association Records

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
January 2004
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Penobscot Lumbering Association Records.
Dates of the Collection: 1854-1953 (inclusive); 1874-1912 (bulk).
Provenance: Unknown.
Collection Number: MS 398.
Box Numbers: 1-6 (formerly Boxes 422-423 + new accession 2001-0718d).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of three archival record cartons and three document boxes (6 cubic feet) of material + 18 linear feet of ledgers.
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed.
Preferred Citation: Penobscot Lumbering Association Records, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.
The Penobscot Lumbering Association, incorporated by an act of the Maine Legislature on April 5, 1854, with headquarters in Bangor, Maine, was an association of log owners. At its incorporation, the Association was authorized to take a fifteen-year lease on the piers, booms, shores, buildings, land and appurtenances of the Penobscot Boom Corporation. The Association had the duty to make all needed repairs to the boom and its connected structures, to take charge of all lumber which came into the boom, to raft it, and to make full and accurate scalings and surveys to ascertain the quantity of lumber rafted from the boom. The Association also had to guard the passageways or open spaces in the boom so no lumber could escape. The Association’s Board of Trustees consisted of 74 members; any owner of lumber in the Penobscot River or intended to come into the Penobscot Boom could become a member, with each member allowed one vote for every hundred thousand feet of lumber belonging to him.
Details from the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Penobscot Lumbering Association (1856) give insight into the reasons for forming the Association. This report states that during the 21 years that the Penobscot Boom was carried on by the Corporation there was generally a state of war existing between it and the lumbermen, with constant complaint that it was a soulless corporation, managed only with a view to making money out of lumbermen, and not for their interest, it did not raft fast enough, or too fast, or at the wrong time, etc. The report further indicates that in 1854 most of principal lumbermen on the river signed a petition to the Legislature urging it to take the boom out of the hands of the Corporation and organize an “Association of Lumbermen” to carry it on and to give the lumbermen management of their own property. The report concludes that with the formation of the Association, there was no longer any occasion for boom fights before the Legislature, costing thousands of dollars to lumbermen and putting the state to great expense.

In its initial contract in 1854, the Association was to pay the Penobscot Boom Corporation ten cents for each thousand feet of logs and other lumber passing through the boom. The trustees of the Association were also obligated to David Pingree and David A. Neal of Salem, Massachusetts, trustees of the Corporation, for $300,000 to take lease of the Corporation’s boom. The lumbermen also had the opportunity to buy two-thirds of the stock in the Boom Corporation for $90,000.
The Penobscot Boom Corporation had been chartered in 1832 by Rufus Dwinel and others to maintain a boom across the Stillwater Branch of the Penobscot River to stop and secure logs, masts, spars and other lumber floating on the river. Its charter was amended at the incorporation of the Penobscot Lumbering Association to “relieve it from the duty of hanging the Boom or rafting the lumber therefrom or to secure it in or below the booms and from the duty of hereafter making any repairs upon the boom or any of its structures and from all liabilities arising from the escape of lumber during the period of the lease ...”
At the time of the Penobscot Lumbering Association’s charter, provisions were also made for the governor and council to appoint annually three commissioners to examine all booms, piers and structures and to determine what should be done by the Association for the security and preservation of corporate property. The Commissioners were paid by the Association, with the provision that if five members wanted them to visit the boom to make sure that wood was rafted and secured, or that trips and passageways were properly guarded and the boom safe and secure, the Commissioners must do so. The Commissioners also appointed log agents paid by the Association to be at the booms during the season for running lumber; the duties of the agents were to superintend and assist in delivery of logs from the boom, to ensure that logs were properly secured in the eddies below and to keep a record of the number and marks of the logs and the delivery to respective owners.
The Association maintained several booms on the river including the Argyle, Lower Boom, Nebraska and Pea Cove Booms. As reflected in the collection, its leases extended through 1953.
 Scope and Content Note

The Penobscot Lumbering Association records consist primarily of legal, financial, and lumbering records maintained by the Association from the time of its incorporation in 1854 through the early 20th century. The collection is arranged in one series with seven sub-series: Organization and Administration, Financial, Purchasing, Labor, Lumbering Operations, Miscellaneous, and Ancillary Companies.
The first sub-series, Organization and Administration, contains primarily charters and leases, 1854-1953, with the Penobscot Boom Corporation, as well as contracts, 1929-1953, with I.W. Bussell & Co. of Bangor to raft all logs and later pulpwood and to take care of all four foot wood that came into the Penobscot Boom during the contract years. Also included is correspondence, 1896-1913, to and from Charles H. Adams, Treasurer of the Association.
The second sub-series, Financial, contains trial balances, cashbooks, and journals, as well as a large group of ledgers, 1854-1912, of the Association. Ledgers for the Argyle, Pea Cove and Nebraska Booms are also included. Check registers, 1897-1909, and cancelled checks, 1901-1914, complete this sub-series.
The third sub-series, Purchasing, contains bills, receipts and accounts, 1905-1913, both for the Association and for supplies at various lumber camps.
The fourth sub-series, Labor, contains time books and payroll information for loggers, 1879-1912.
The fifth and largest sub-series, Lumbering Operations, gives detailed information on lumber handled at the booms. It opens with a memorandum book of the Penobscot Boom, 1854, of someone who went from boom to boom, recording work being done at each, logs being rafted, levels of water, etc. It continues with scalers’ books, 1866-1918; volumes, 1888-1916, labelled “Lumber,” which give date, raft, mark, mill and saw, kind, size, total, by whom sold, purchaser and vessel for logs coming through the booms; and a group of log agents’ books, 1855-1893, which record the date, mark, logger’s name, and total for logs at the various booms. This sub-series also contains memo books detailing logs delivered and rafted at the boom, 1849-1911. Information about the wangans serving the lumber camps can also be found here.
The sixth sub-series, Miscellaneous, contains various unidentified documents, a ledger possibly of a dentist, and minutes of meetings, 1896-1916, of the Mount Moriah Chapter, R.A. M. (Royal Arch Masons?), possibly belonging to Charles H. Adams, the Association Treasurer. The sub-series ends with letter books of outgoing correspondence, 1901-1904, most from A.S. Buzzell, general agent and district manager for the Prudential Insurance Company in the eastern half of the state of Maine.
The seventh sub-series, Ancillary Companies, contains records from companies that did business with the Association. It includes charters and other legal documents, dividend books, financial information, and reports of the Penobscot Boom Corporation. It also includes records of the Penobscot Log Driving Company, which had been incorporated in 1846 to drive all logs and other timber in the West branch of Penobscot River between the Chesuncook Dam and the East Branch to any place at or above the Penobscot Boom. Records include the company’s charter and bylaws and financial information, 1860-1912, about its operation. The sub-series ends with financial information, 1908-1909, and time books, 1909-1910, of I.W. Bussell & Co.
Box List
Please note: All items without a folder number and designated as Ledger are kept in wall storage area.
Series I: Records of the Penobscot Lumbering Association
Sub-series 1: Organization and Administration
Box 1
1 Charters, leases, etc., 1854-1953
2 Proceedings of annual meeting, 1856 [printed pamphlet]
3 Contracts with I.W. Bussell Co., 1929-1953
4 Correspondence, incoming to Chas. H. Adams, 1896-1897
5 Correspondence, incoming, 1897-1898
6 Correspondence, incoming, 1899-1900
7 Correspondence, incoming to Chas. H. Adams, 1904, 1907-1910
8 Correspondence from W.E. Hellenbrand, 1909
9 Correspondence of Summit Lumber Co. and Merrill Mill Co. to E.H. Bunker, surveyor’s office, 1910-1913
10 Correspondence, incoming, 1911-1913
    Ledger Correspondence, outgoing from Chas. H. Adams, 1896-1907
11 Map of Penobscot River showing booms, undated
Sub-series 2: Financial
    Ledger Trial balances, 1911, 1913, 1915, 1916 [4 vols.]
    Ledger Cashbooks, 1876-1880, 1891-1907, 1903-1907 [3 vols.]
    Ledger Daybook, 1912
    Ledger Journal, Argyle, Apr.-May, 1910 [of wangan?]
    Ledger Ledgers, P.L.A. treasurer, 1854-1912 [44 vols.]
    Ledger Ledgers, Argyle, 1910, 1915 [2 vols.]
    Ledger Ledger, Pea Cove, 1913
    Ledger Ledgers, Pea Cove and Nebraska, 1908, 1909 [2 vols.]
    Ledger Bills payable and receivable, 1891-1901
12 Check register, 1897-1909
13 Cancelled checks, 1901, 1914
14 Cancelled checks, 1908

Sub-series 3: Purchasing
15 Bills, etc., 1905-1910
16 Accounts with John Cassidy Co., wholesale grocers, 1909
17 Bills, receipts, etc., 1911-1912
18 Bills, 1911-1912
19 Bill, 1913
Sub-series 4: Labor
20 Time book, 1879, 1883, 1886
21 Workmen’s time books, 1901, 1908, 1912
    Ledger Monthly time books, Argyle, Nebraska, Pea Cove, 1907-1915 [8 vols.]
22 Payroll, 1906
23 Payroll, 1907, 1909
24 Payroll voucher registers, 1908, 1912
25 Payroll voucher registers, 1912
26 Payroll voucher registers, 1912
27 Payroll voucher register, 1912
Box 2
1 Payroll vouchers, 1911-1912
2 Payroll vouchers, 1911-1912
3 Payroll vouchers, 1911-1912
 Sub-series 5: Lumbering Operations
4 Memorandum, Penobscot Boom, 1854
5 Marks of unclaimed logs, 1854
6 Marks, 1894-1908
    Ledger Scalers’ books, P.L.A., 1854, 1868 [2 vols.]
    Ledger Scalers’ books, Argyle, P.L.A., 1867, 1902-1908 [7 vols.]
    Ledger Scalers’ books, Lower Boom, P.L.A., 1866, 1867 [2 vols.]
    Ledger Scalers’ books, Pea Cove and Nebraska, 1901-1903, 1905, 1908 [4 vols.]
    Ledger Scale bills, poplar and spruce pulpwood, 1913-1918
    Ledger Lumber, 1888-1916 [31 vols.]
    Ledger Log agent’s book, P.L.A., 1856, 1865-1893 [27 vols.]
    Ledger Log agent’s book, Argyle Boom, 1855-1856; 1862-1916 [24 vols.]
    Ledger Log agent’s book, Lower Boom, 1855, 1858 [2 vols.]
7 Log agent’s book, Lower Boom, 1859
    Ledger Log agent’s book, Lower Boom, 1860, 1864? [2 vols.]
    Ledger Log agent’s book, Mexico, 1872; also includes Boom Brook and Nebraska, 1873 [1 vol.]
    Ledger Log agent’s book, Nebraska, P.L.A., 1881-1910, 1915 [16 vols.]
8 Nebraska Boom, 1906 [Ledger of logs]
    Ledger Log agent’s book, Pea Cove, P.L.A., 1872, 1875-1913 [22 vols.]
    Ledger Record [of lumber cut], 1888-1891
9 Boomage, 1889-1892
10 Memo book: Logs turned by Argyle and Nebraska Boom, 1894; scale of West Branch logs; logs scaled to Kimball, Adams & Co., J.H. Walker & Co.
11 Accounts of logs rafted, Penobscot Boom, 1854 and 1855
    Ledger Ledger of rafting at both booms in 1858
    Ledger Account of logs rafted at the Argyle Boom during 1862 [and 1863]
12 B.E. Preble, 1901, 1902, 1903 [Memo book of logs run]
13 E.N. Tracy, 1909 [Memo book of logs run]
14 Logs rafted, 1909
15 Fred A. Tibbetts, Argyle Boom, 1912 [Memo of logs run]
16 [Unidentified memo book of logs run], undated
17 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, 1849-1862
18 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, June, 1870-Apr., 1871
19 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, May-Oct., 1872
20 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, May, 1873-Aug., 1875
Box 3
1 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, May-Aug., 1876
2 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, May, June, 1877; May, 1880
3 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, June, July, 1880; May, 1881
4 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, June, Sept., 1881; June, 1882
5 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, July-Sept., 1882
Box 4
1 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, May-July, 1883
2 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, Aug., 1883; May, July, 1884
3 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, May-Aug., 1885
4 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, June-Sept., 1886
5 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, July-Sept., 1887
Box 5
1 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, June-Sept., 1888
2 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, May, June, 1890; Sept., 1902-May, 1904
3 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, May, 1904-Aug., 1907
4 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, Sept, 1907-Aug., 1908; May, June, 1911
5 Logs delivered, rafted at boom, July-Oct., 1911
Box 6
1 Stray logs, Pea Cove, 1893
2 Journal, Millinocket, Me., 1905 [Prize and stray logs]
3 Wangan memo books, 1895-1913
4 Wangan book, A.F. Coogan, Old Town, Me., 1908
    Ledger Penobscot Development Co., Great Works, Maine, monthly wangin [sic] report, 1922
    Ledger Logs taken from river by Katahdin P. & P. Co. at Lincoln, Me., 1897-1902
    Ledger Journal, Kimball, Adams & Co., Stillwater, May-Oct., 1894
    Ledger Account book, Millinocket Dam, 1909-1910
5 Ledgers, Passadumkeag Log Driving Co., 1908, 1910
    Ledger Cash, Chas. M. White boom acct., 1903-1906
6 Checkbook, Charles M. White boom account, Old Town, 1904
 Sub-series 6: Miscellaneous
7 Miscellaneous documents
8 Unidentified memorandum book, undated
9 Index to unidentified document [1860?]
10 Ledger, 1898-1901 [of a dentist?]
11 Mount Moriah Chapter No. 6, R.A.M [Royal Arch Masons].: minutes of meetings, 1896-1901
12 Mount Moriah Chapter: minutes of meetings, 1901-1905
13 Mount Moriah Chapter: minutes of meetings, 1910-1916
14 Checkbook: Charles H. Babb & Co. Plumbing and Heating, Bangor, 1921
    Ledger Letter books of A.S. Buzzell, Prudential Insurance Co., 1901-1904  [5 vols.]
Sub-series 7: Ancillary Companies
15 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Acts to extend charter and other legal documents, 1868-1927
16 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Dividend book no. 2, Dec. 1, 1879-Dec. 1, 1908
17 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Dividend book, 1909-1928
18 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Correspondence, incoming, 1896
19 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Bankbook, 1906-1916
20 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Checkbook, Second National Bank, Aug. 1, 1903-Dec. 1, 1908
21 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Checkbook, Second National Bank, Dec. 1, 1908-June 25, 1914
22 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Cancelled checks, L.J. Freedman, 1928
23 Penobscot Boom Corp.: Andrew Hammond’s exploring notes of Penobscot Boom Corp. lots, May 19, 1903
24 Penobscot Boom Corp.: [Logs run by R. & M. Woodman], undated
25 Penobscot Log Driving Co.: Charter and bylaws, 1864, 1880, 1904
26 Penobscot Log Driving Co.: Miscellaneous documents, 1906, 1908
27 Penobscot Log Driving Co.: Court summons, 1910
    Ledger Penobscot Log Driving Co.: Cashbooks, 1860-1869, 1861 [2 vols.]
    Ledger Penobscot Log Driving Co.: Ledgers, 1860, 1874-1889, 1910, 1911 [4 vols.]
28 Penobscot Log Driving Co.: Ledger A, 1906
    Ledger Penobscot Log Driving Co.: Monthly time book, 1910-1912
29 I.W. Bussell & Co.: Account information, 1909
    Ledger I.W. Bussell & Co.: Journal, 1908
    Ledger I.W. Bussell & Co.: Ledgers, 1908-1909 [2 vols.]
30 I.W. Bussell & Co.: Bills, 1909
    Ledger I.W. Bussell & Co.: Weekly time book, 1909; summer, 1910
31 I.W. Bussell & Co.: Two week time book, 1909

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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