From his command post in a downtown Kansas City skyscraper, the nation’s foremost lumberman, R.A. Long, received the devastating report from his company’s timber scouts in 1918: his sources for raw material were nearly exhausted. The once-lush pine and oak forests of the Mississippi Delta had been stripped clean and converted into farmland.
Now, his Long-Bell Lumber Company was at a crossroads. The timber baron put the question to a vote by his board of directors: disband or build the world’s largest lumber mill somewhere else? This group of middle-aged men looked upon R.A. Long as a father figure and a proverbial King Midas, able to turn wood into gold. Their decision was easy: they wholeheartedly endorsed the plan to build.
And their vision became the Longview story, combining social engineering, modern marketing, and a whole lot of money into a 20th-century urban success story.
Highlights of Longview include:
• R.A. Long at a Crossroads
• The Lower Cowlitz River Valley
• More Than a One-Mill Town
• Building a Busy Port and a Tall Bridge
• Mr. Long’s Legacy: The People
• Coping with Disasters
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.