Fun Facts

  • How does R. A. Long connect with Bill Gates?  Some of the original old-growth beams from the Long-Bell Lumber Company in Washington were used to build Microsoft-Founder Bill Gates mansion in Medina on Lake Washington.  (History of the Port of Longview)
  • Did you know Loula Long Combs competed in and won international horse shows for 65 years?  She retired in 1961 at the age of 80. (R.A. Long Historical Society
  • Toward the end of their lives, Loula and her sister, Sally American Long Ellis, donated land for Longview Community College (MCC Longview).  Other parcels were sold and became Longview Lake and nearby residential communities. (R. A. Long Historical Society)
  • Longview Farm was an economic driver for Lees Summit.  The farm employed approximately 350 people; many of the jobs were well-paying, skilled jobs. (R. A. Long Historical Society
  • The Chapel held its first service in December 1915 with Dr. George Combs giving the sermon.  Many special projects were done by the church members, including giving to the Penny Ice Fund in Kansas City, buying a bed for the St. Louis Orphans Home, and adopting a French orphan boy and supporting him until he was grown.   In addition, in the early years, a motion picture machine was set up in the Chapel basement and a picture show was shown every Thursday night to the farm people. (R. A. Long Historical Society
  • “The purifying system near the Lake filtered 50,000 gallons of water a day and pumped it to the 100,000 gallon water tower.  It was distributed by gravity.” (R. A. Long Historical Society)
  • The street, Grandstand Circle, is named after the Longview Farm race track that seated up to 1000 people.  The Grandstand, designed in an American Log Cabin style, “stretched 125 feet long with ten box stalls underneath he stands for the horses”. During horse shows American flags lined the track, and were on display on every building on the farm. (Teresa T. Mitchell, Longview Farm: Biography of a Dream Come True)
  • Construction of the farm and all of its buildings started in 1913 and completed in just 18 months.  Construction workers included “50 Belgian craftsmen, 200 Sicilian stone masons” and 2000 other workers. (Teresa T. Mitchell, Longview Farm: Biography of a Dream Come True)

  • In “1916 the farm had over 500 heads of cattle (232 being milked in two dairy barns,) 16 Percheron Draft horses, 61 saddle horses, 44 harness horses, 29 colts, 29 mules and 375 Duroc Jersey hogs”. At its height, the farm had over 800 head of cattle. (Teresa T. Mitchell, Longview Farm: Biography of a Dream Come True)

  • Longview Farm developed a reputation for growing beautiful flower gardens and manicured gardens. Greenhouses were developed for “commercial flower production and distribution though a wholesale outlet in KC.”  “Sweet peas, roses and chrysanthemums” were grown, and “an average of 2000 blooms” were provided daily. (Teresa T. Mitchell, Longview Farm: Biography of a Dream Come True)

  • The Longview dairy “produced up to 1000 quarts of raw milk per day”, and was distributed through a KC dairy.  "One hundred quarts also went to Mercy Hospital daily at 10 cents per quart, 20 cents less then the retail price and was less than the actual production cost".  Milk also went to the Sheffield Community House, a charity institute established by R. A. Long’s church.  They "received their milk for free and in turn supplied milk to the poor for free." (Teresa T. Mitchell, Longview Farm: Biography of a Dream Come True)

  • Loula Long Combs showed her horses throughout the United States and even transported her horses to compete in Canada and England.  Dressed in her full-length gowns and trademark feathered hats, her success received national attention from the media:

Time Magazine (1951) reported that she took blue ribbons every year at the National.

Newsweek (1950) called Loula the most remarkable woman in the National.

Life Magazine (1952)  Loula was called kindly empress of U.S. show rings

National Geographic (1954) called Loula the undisputed empress dowager of Americas horse shows.

Sports Illustrated (1956) Loula was quoted as saying, After sixty years I still get nervous each time I enter a ring.  I still catch my breath at the sight of a blue coming toward me and I suspect I will for the next twenty-five, God willing. (R. A. Long Historical Society

Pop Quiz

Which of these were included in Longview Farm?

A. police and fire department

B. hotel for men

C. community newspaper

D. all of the above

Answer: D  The Longview Farm also included giant greenhouses, housing for employees, a church, a school, telephone service, and handsome barns with wood pegged floors for the prize cattle and hogs.

How many rooms are in the Longview Mansion?

A. 29

B. 32

C. 38

D. 48

Answer D  The Longview Mansion is a massive 22,000 square foot structure with 6 fireplaces, 14 bedrooms and 10 baths.  It also claimed the first central vacuum system west of the Mississippi.