WVC 31 -
CHAPTER 31. CORPORATIONS.
WVC 31 - 3 -
ARTICLE 3. BOOM COMPANIES.
WVC 31 - 3 - 1
§31-3-1. Consent of state to construction of booms.
The consent of the state is given for the construction of a
boom or booms, by corporations incorporated for the purpose, with
or without piers, dam or dams, in the rivers, creeks or other
streams of this state which may be necessary for the purpose of
stopping and securing boats, rafts, logs, masts, spars, lumber
and other timber: Provided, however,
That no such boom or dam
shall be constructed in any of the rivers, creeks or other
streams of the state, which are navigable by steamboats at an
ordinary stage of water above the places where such boom or dam
is proposed to be located.
WVC 31 - 3 - 2
§31-3-2. Powers of boom company; boomage; lien; sale for tolls;
free passage of logs.
Every such corporation shall, after erecting its boom, have
the exclusive privilege of maintaining a suitable boom or booms,
with or without piers, dam or dams, across the stream designated,
within two miles above its principal boom, for the purpose of
stopping and securing boats, rafts, sawlogs and other timber of
value, but such boom or booms shall be so constructed as to
permit boats, rafts and other timber, when desired by the owner,
to pass them without unavoidable delay and without paying toll,
boomage or other charges, and may erect their booms on the rivers
and other streams, and may dredge and clear the channels thereof,
and remove obstructions therefrom; and such corporation may build
sawmills on lands acquired in any other way than by condemnation;
and may manufacture and sell lumber and construct tram-railways
and dams, and do such other work as may be necessary for the
purpose of getting logs and lumber to, down and from the river
and its branches, on which such boom is located; and, in the
event the lands necessary for such tram-railways cannot be
purchased from the owner or owners thereof at a reasonable price,
then such corporation may have the same condemned for such
purpose in the manner now provided by law for cases of a similar
That nothing in this section shall be so
construed as to prevent any boom company from using water surface
for two miles below its boom for assorting and bunching its own
and other boats, rafts, sawlogs and other timber of value, and
that no company shall so construct its boom as to deprive another company of such right, nor shall any boom company which may
construct a boom within two miles below a boom heretofore
constructed have exclusive privileges of the water or stream
above such other boom.
Boomage or toll shall be charged at a rate not less than
twenty-five cents nor more than one dollar per thousand feet
board measure; or not less than twenty nor more than eighty cents
per one hundred cubic feet, except as hereinafter provided, which
rate shall be determined by a commission in the manner following,
to wit: The circuit court of each county, the timber of which
can be floated into the boom, or the judge of such court in
vacation, shall appoint one person, and such corporation shall
appoint a person and if such persons are unable to agree, they
shall choose another person. None of the persons so selected
shall be a stockholder or interested in such corporation. The
persons so appointed and chosen shall be versed in the timber and
lumber business, and be qualified to make such measurements and
calculations as may be necessary. Persons so appointed or chosen
shall constitute a commission, whose duty it shall be to fix the
rates of boomage which the corporation may charge; and in
determining this rate they shall take into consideration the ease
or difficulty, as the case may be, of booming logs, etc., in such
boom, and also any extraordinary expenditure of money which the
corporation may have made to facilitate its business; and such
commissioners shall fix a rate, which shall be in their judgment
a fair and just compensation to the corporation for the capital
invested and labor performed in booming logs, timber, etc., in the limits above described. And such commissioners may, in
their discretion, or when requested to do so by parties
interested, fix the separate rate which shall be charged for
logs, ties, lumber, staves, or any other specific kind of lumber
or timber which may be floated in such boom, by the hundred,
thousand, or by bulk, as the case may be. The report of such
commissioners shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the
circuit court of each county in which a commissioner was
appointed, and published within ten days after the report has
been agreed upon as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance
with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this
code, and the publication area for such publication shall be each
county interested in such boom. Should the corporation or any
interested party not be satisfied with the report of the
commissioners, they may take exceptions thereto, which exceptionsmay be heard by the judge of the circuit court of any county
interested, in term time or in vacation, and, if it appear to the
court or judge that the rates established by the commissioners
are unjust, either to the corporation or private persons, such
report may be set aside and a new commission appointed. But
unless exceptions are taken to the report of such commissioners
within sixty days after the filing of the same, the report shall
be taken as confirmed, and be binding upon all parties
interested. Any boom company organized under the provisions of
this chapter, or any party interested, may, if it so desire, ask
for a commission once every five years, to revise the rate of
boomage; such commission to be constituted as provided for in this section. When the stream boomed lies wholly in one county,
there shall be two commissioners appointed by the circuit court
of that county, who, together with the one appointed by the
corporation, as hereinbefore provided, shall constitute such
commission. If any controversy shall arise between such
corporation and any person or persons having timber or other
lumber in such boom, on account of such lumber, or the rates of
boomage, the commissioners authorized to be appointed by this
section may, if the parties interested and such corporation so
desire it, act as arbitrators to settle the same in such manner
and with such result as the law provides in other cases of
arbitration. The commissioners appointed under this section shall
receive three dollars per day for their services, to be paid by
such corporation, except that, after the rates have been fixed,
any subsequent commission shall be paid by the party asking it.
Such corporation shall have a lien on all sawlogs and other
timber and lumber thus boomed for the payment of all tolls for
booming, until the same shall be paid.
If any timber shall have been boomed securely, as aforesaid,
and no person shall appear to claim the same, and pay the tolls
thereon, within ninety days, it shall be lawful for the
corporation, after advertising the same as hereinafter provided,
reciting the marks, if any, to make application to any justice of
the peace of such county, whose duty it shall be, upon proper
proof of the publication of such notice, to direct a sale of such
timber, and designate some officer or other person to make such
sale, either by public auction or by private sale, as to the justice shall seem most advantageous to the parties interested;
and at any time within a year from such sale, the owner shall be
entitled to receive the proceeds thereof, after deducting the
toll and expenses; but if not claimed within one year, the
proceeds shall inure to and be vested in the general school fund.
Such advertisement shall be published as a Class II legal
advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three,
chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for
such publication shall be each county in which such boom or booms
Where several companies are operating on the same stream,
the upper companies shall pass free of charge through or around
their booms, with as little delay as possible, all logs, lumber,
etc., distinctly marked as belonging to or in care of the boom or
booms below them.
WVC 31 - 3 - 3
§31-3-3. Injuries to property of boom company.
If any person or persons shall wilfully and maliciously
injure or destroy any of such booms or piers or other works
connected therewith, or shall remove, alter or deface any mark or
marks on any logs or other timber intended for such boom, he
shall pay treble damages, to be recovered by an action brought in
the name of such corporation, before a justice or any of the
courts of the county having jurisdiction in which he or they
shall reside, or in the county in which the offense was
committed; and such person or persons so offending shall also be
guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, may be
fined not exceeding one hundred dollars or confined in the county
jail not exceeding twelve months, or both, in the discretion of
WVC 31 - 3 - 4
§31-3-4. Measurement of timber in boom.
If the parties interested shall not agree as to the
measurement of the timber in such boom, it shall be done by
commissioners, appointed by the circuit court or the judge
thereof in vacation, of the county in which such boom is located;
or the same may be measured, if the parties so desire it, by the
commissioners authorized to be appointed by section two of this
article; the expenses of such commission, in either case, shall
be paid by the party in error as to the measurement, and if both
parties shall be found to be in error, such expenses shall be
paid by them equally.
WVC 31 - 3 - 5
§31-3-5. Removal of timber lodging on lands; damages; taking or
carrying away without authority.
If any logs, timber, or other lumber, while floating down
any stream, be lodged upon any improved lands or inclosure of
another, it shall be the duty of the owner to cause the same to
be removed therefrom within sixty days from the time such logs,
timber or lumber is lodged. If any person shall, without the
authority of the owner, during such sixty days, take, carry away,
injure or destroy, or convert to his own use any of such logs,
timber or lumber, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon
conviction, fined not more than one hundred dollars, and, at the
discretion of the court, be imprisoned not more than ninety days.
The owner of such timber shall be liable to the owner of the land
for any damages sustained by him by reason of such logs, timber
or lumber lodging or remaining thereon.
WVC 31 - 3 - 6
§31-3-6. Obstruction of use of stream to drive logs into boom.
If the owner of logs or other lumber placed in a stream
above a boom erected thereon shall unreasonably delay driving
such logs or lumber into such boom, so that persons wishing to
use such stream for driving or floating logs or other lumber into
such boom shall be compelled to drive such logs or lumber into
the boom; or break any jam, to enable such person so to use such
stream, the reasonable expenses of driving or floating such logs
or other lumber, or breaking such jam, shall be borne by the
owner of such logs or other lumber so obstructing such stream, to
be recovered before a justice of the peace or other judicial
tribunal having jurisdiction, and shall constitute a lien on such
logs or other lumber until the same shall be paid.
WVC 31 - 3 - 7
§31-3-7. Liability of boom company for timber within boom.
Such corporation shall be liable for all logs, timber and
other floatables which may come into its boom, except when they
sink in deep water, or are carried away by unusually high water,
or are destroyed by fire, not caused by the negligence of such
corporation, its agents or employees.
WVC 31 - 3 - 8
§31-3-8. Meaning of "logs or timber."
Wherever the words "logs or timber" occur in this article,
they shall be taken to mean logs and timber of every kind and
description manufactured or unmanufactured.
WVC 31 - 3 - 9
§31-3-9. Injury to mill and other riparian property.
Nothing in this article shall be so construed as to deprive
the owners of mill property, and other proprietors on such river
and branches thereof from recovering damages for injury to their
property by such corporation, their agents or employees.
WVC 31 - 3 - 10
§31-3-10. Filing marks and brands before driving logs.
Before the persons driving logs shall put their logs in any
of such streams for the purpose of driving them, they shall file
a memorandum with the clerk of the county court wherein such logs
are, stating distinctly the brand or marks of such persons; and
unless these requirements are complied with, such corporation
shall in no manner be held liable for any loss occasioned by the
loss of such logs.
§31-3-11. Obstruction of public roads or fords.
No company incorporated under the provisions of this article
shall so exercise its corporate privileges, as to materially
obstruct any public road or ford across any stream.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session