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United States v. Chandler-Dunbar Water Power Co., 209 U.S. 447 (1908)

United States v. Chandler-Dunbar Water Power Company

No. 59

Argued April 6-8, 1908

Decided April 20, 1908

209 U.S. 447


Statutes of limitation with regard to land affect the right even if in terms only directed against the remedy. The Act of March 3, 1891, c. 561, § 8, 26 Stat. 1099, providing that suit to vacate and annul patents theretofore issued shall only be brought within five years after the passage of the act, applies to a void patent, and where suit has not been brought within the prescribed period, a patent of public land, whether reserved or not, must be held good, and to have the same effect a though valid in the first place.

On the admission of Michigan to the Union, the bed of the Sault Ste. Marie, whether strait or river, passed to the state, and small unsurveyed island therein became subject to the law of the state.

By the law of Michigan, a grant of land bounded by a stream whether navigable in fact or not, carries with it the bed of the stream to the center of the thread thereof, and under this rule, the patentee of government

Page 209 U. S. 448

land bordering on the Sault Ste. Marie takes to the center line, including small unsurveyed islands between the mainland and the center line; nor are the rights of riparian owners to the center affected by the fact that the stream is a boundary.

152 F. 25 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 209 U. S. 449

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