During last week we paid the thriving village of Longview a visit, and spent a most pleasant day with its, enterprising and hospitable citizens; and it has occurred to us that perhaps many of our readers would like to know something of this place and the enterprises there in progress.
This village is located in this county, on the line of the S. & N. Division of the L. & N. railroad, seven miles above Calera and twenty-six miles south of Birmingham. It contains a population of 250 or 300 persons. The Longview Lime Works is the principal feature; Mr. B.B. Warren is the proprietor of these Works. They consist of two large kilns, with a capacity each of one hundred barrels daily, a saw mill with a capacity of fifteen or twenty thousand feet of lumber daily, and barrell machinery, &c. There is, also, a large mercantile business, conducted by Messrs. Warren & Brame, their trade aggregating twenty-five or thirty thousand dollars annually. Mr. W.W. Brame gives his whole attention to the mercantile business, and is beyond doubt a good merchant and a fine business man. His partner, Mr. Warren, gives his attention, almost exclusively, to the management and control of the Works, and the success that has attended his management of these Works, the superior quality of lime manufactured, and the rapid growth and improvement of the village, are the very best evidences that he not only understands the business thoroughly, but that he is a useful and enterprising citizen, eminently fitted to conduct a manufacturing enterprise, and a man who is thoroughly and heartily interested in the development and upbuilding of his section, and the prosperity and welfare of his country. At this time he is giving employment to about seventy hands in and about his Works.
The village of Longview is healthfully located, and derives its name from the fact that for some three miles or more the railroad is as straight as an arrow, affording a long view of approaching and departing trains.
Exhaustless beds of the finest lime rock lie in close proximity, and immense forests of magnificent timber are near at hand. In addition to the lands already owned by him, Mr. Warren recently purchased several thousand acres of valuable timbered lands lying in the vicinity of Camp Branch Church, a mile or two to the southeast of the village, and just beyond his rock quarries. These he proposes to utilize next fall, and contemplates converting the train way now connecting his quarries with his kilns, into a narrow gauge railroad, placing a small steam engine upon it, and extending it down into said timber. This will be an improvement that will add much both to the convenience as well as the value of the Works.
Messrs. H.C. & J.M. Reynolds, of Montevallo, settled Longview, located a lime kiln and saw mill there about 1870, and engaged in the manufacture of lime and lumber for four or five years, when they sold out. After the Messrs. Reynolds sold out, these Works changed hands two or three times, if we mistake not, in as many years, up to the year 1879, when the present proprietor, Mr. B.B. Warren, purchased them. At this time the Works had run down very much, and were considerably out of repair, therefore at the very commencement of his management, Mr. Warren had to labor under many disadvantages and embarrassments; but by the exercise of pluck, energy and perserverance, he has during the 3 years he has owned them and given them his attention, put them in thoroughly good repair and added threefold to their value by additional improvements, having built a new kiln, thereby doubling the capacity, added to the saw mill, and built many new cottages, making them all the time profitable, yielding a handsome per cent. on the investment, as well as giving remunerative employment to a large number of people. These Works, under their present management, are indeed a blessing to the section in which they are located. Not only do they furnish employment to a large number of persons, but they also afford a market for country produce right at the doors of the farmers of the vicinity. The farmers appreciate this, and are proud of the village of Longview.
The proposed new railroad of the Shelby Iron Company, from Columbiana, will tap the South & North railroad at or near this place. It is earnestly hoped by the citizens of Longview and vicinity that the Shelby Iron Company may see that it will be to its interest to tap the S. & N. with their proposed new road at Longview. At this point a far greater amount of freight would be secured and many other advantages be enjoyed by it that other points near could not afford. We hope that the Iron Company will build this contemplated road, and that Longview will be selected as its objective point.
Already the production and sale of lime has materially increased at the Longview Works, and even during the dullest seasons of the past few years these Works have been run successfully, paying a handsome per cent., and the indications are that the additions and improvements still contemplated by their proprietor will continue to increase their capacity and add to their importance. In addition to the narrow gauge railroad, a steam gin and grist mill is put down, so we are informed, on the programme of improvements for the present year. Mr. Warren is at present erecting a commodious and comfortable dwelling house for himself, that, when finished, will be an ornament to the village.
During our short visit we enjoyed the generous hospitality of Mr. Warren and his estimable lady. We also had the pleasure of meeting Messrs. W.W. Brame, S.B. Holt, Lenard, Armstrong and others to whom we are indebted for courtesies extended us. Especially would we acknowledge the kindness shown us, and tbe interest manifested in the Sentinel, by Mr. Brame, to whom we are indebted for a large list of new subscribers. Success and prosperity to Longview and its enterprises.