This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
In making the division between adjoining litoral or riparian owners of the land formed by accretion, the courts have usually adopted the rule of the civil law, by which the new water front is divided between them in the same proportions as the old water front, the side boundary lines being- run in a straight course from the points of division on the old frontage to the points of division on the new.54 It is generally conceded, however, even by the decisions which adopt this rule of division in the ordinary case, that it is subject to modification under particular circumstances,55 and that especially in fixing the extent of the frontage the "general available line" thereof should be taken rather than the actual line as extended by deep indentations or sharp projections. In at least one case the lines were extended from the points of division on the old water front to proportionwater, is not an island. Thornton v. Foss, 26 Me. 402.
54. Johnston v. Jones, 1 Black. (U. S.) 210, 17 L. Ed. 117; Malone v. Mobbs, 102 Ark. 542, Ann. Cas. 1914A, 479, 145 S. W. 193, 146 S. W. 143; Kehr v. Snyder, 114 111. 313, 55 Am. Rep. 866, 2 N. E. 68; Hammond v. Shepard, 186 111. 235, 78 Am. St. Rep. 274, 57 N. E. 867; Berry v. Hoogendoorn, 133 Iowa, 437, 108 N. W. 333; Newell v. Leathers, 50 La. Ann. 162, 69 Am. St. Rep. 395, 23 So. 243; Deerfield v. Arms, 17 Pick. (Mass.) 41, 28 Am. Dec. 276; Blodgett & D. Lumber Co. v. Peters, 87 Mich. 498, 49 N. W. 917, 24 Am. St. Rep. 175; Smith v. Leavenworth, 101 Miss. 238, 57 So. 803; De Lassus v. Faherty, 164 Mo. 361, 58 L. R. A. 193, 64 S. W. 183; Batchelder v. Kenniston, 51 N. H. 496, 12 Am. Rep. 143; O'donnell v. Kelsey, 10 N. Y. 415; Northern Pine Land Co. v. Bige-low, 84 Wis. 157, 21 L. R. A. 776, 54 N. W. 496; Hathaway v. City of Milwaukee, 132 Wis. 249, 9 L. R. A. (N. S.) 778, 122 Am. St. Rep. 975, 112 N. W. 455.
55. Malone v. Mobbs, 102 Ark. 542, Ann. Cas. 1914A, 479, 145 S. W. 193, 146 S. W. 143; Kehr v. Snyder, 114 111. 313, 55 Am. Rep. 866, 2 N. E. 68; City of Peoria v. Central Nat. Bank, 224 111. 43, 12 L. R. A. (N. S.) 687, 79 N. E. 296; Stark v. Meriwether, 98 Kan. 10, Ann. Cas. 1918E. 993, 157 Pac. 438; Blodgett & Davis Lumber Co. v. Peters, 87 Mich. 498, 24 Am. St. Rep. 175, 49 N. W. 917; Smith v. Leavenworth. 101 Miss. 238, 57 So. 803; Batch-elder v. Keniston, 51 N. H. 496, 12 Am. Rep. 143; Thornton v. Grant, 10 R. I. 477, 14 Am. Rep. 701; Hubbard v. Manwell, 60 ate points of division, not on the new front, but on the thread of the stream.56
Occasionally the new land formed m a stream has been divided by drawing straight lines from the division points on the old front at right angles to the general course of the stream,57 and sometimes the division has been made by continuing the side lines of the properties in exactly the same direction through the newly formed land.58 This latter method of apportionment would seem best to accord with the theory of accretion, above advocated,59 that one acquires title to the newly formed land merely because the muniment of title is construed as making the water the boundary regardless of change in the location of the water. For instance, if a conveyance describes the side boundary as running in a certain course to the water, it should run in that course regardless of any change in the location of the water. But the courts have not looked at the subject from this point of view, and have occasionally repudiated in express terms the method of apportionment referred to.60 They have apparently had in mind chiefly the securing a fair division of the new frontage, a consideration which, it would seem, is of much greater importance in the case of navigable waters than in the case of those not navigable.
This matter of the apportionment of accretions has been occasionally discussed with reference to the analogous case of the apportionment of the "flats" or the shore among the owners of the uplands, in cases in which the state has relinquished the ownership of the
Vt. 235, 6 Am. St. Rep. 110, 14 Atl. 693.
56. Kehr v. Snyder, 114 111. 313, 55 Am. Rep. 886, 2 N. E. 68.
57. Gorton v. Rice, 153 Mo. 076, 55 S. W. 241; Miller v. Hepburn, 8 Bush (Ky.) 326.
58. Stockley v. Cissna, 119 Fed. 812, 56 C. C. A. 324 (sem-ble); Mccamon v. Stagg, 2 Kan.
App. 479, 2 Pac. 86; Gorton v. Rice, 153 Mo. 676, 55 S. W. 241; Hubbard v. Manwell, 60 Vt. 235, 6 Am. St. Rep. 110, 14 Atl. 693,
59. Ante, Sec. 535.
60. Kehr v. Snyder, 111 III. 313, 55 Am. Rep. 866, 2 N E 68; Berry v. Hoogendoorn, 133 Iowa, 437, 108 N. W. 923; Crnn dall v. Allen, 118 Mo. 403, 22 flats,61 and like considerations have been recognized as applicable in the two cases, as they have, in determining the rights of riparian or litoral owners, as against each other, to construct improvements in front of their land.62 In all these cases the difficulty of arriving at a just mode of apportionment is particularly emphasized when the lands belonging to the various proprietors are located on a bay or cove, and varying rules have been suggested as to the most desirable method of apportionment in such a case, the underlying idea of all of which, however, is to give to each proprietor the same proportionate access to the water as he previously had.63
When a lake, the bed of which originally belonged to the state, becomes dry, the question as to the ownership of the bed is a difficult one. It appears to depend in the first place upon the direction or directions in which the recession of the water occurred, each owner of abutting land being entitled by '"accretion" to land left dry as the water receded from his shore. Frequently, however, it would be impossible to ascertain the direction of the recession of the water, and in such a case the court would presumably have to proceed on the theory that the whole bed of the lake became dry at one time, and fix the lines of division, as between individual proprietors, as if the ownership had not originally been in the state.63a In case it appears that, in the course of the gradual disappearance of the water, islands formed or appeared, these would bel. R. A. 591, 24 S. W. 172; Manchester v. Point Street Iron Works, 13 R. I. 355.
61. See Comm. v. City of Rox-bury, 9 Gray (Mass.) 451; Won-son v. Wonson, 14 Allen (Mass.) 85; Thornton v. Grant, 10 R. I. 477, 14 Am. Rep. 701; Lowndes v. Wickes, 69 Conn. 15, 36 Atl. 1072
62. See Blodgett & Davis Lumber Co. v. Peters, 87 Mich. 498, 24 Am. St. Rep. 175, 49 N. W. 917; Thornton v. Grant, 10 R. I. 477, 14 Am. Rep. 701.
63. See editorial notes, 122 Am. St. Rep. 986, 21 L. R. A. 776, 25 L R. A. (N. S.) 257.
63a. Ante, Sec. 445.
Long to the state,63b and so the state would be entitled to any extensions of such islands cansed by the further recession of the water away therefrom.63c