In 1906, the Long Bell Lumber Company of Kansas City, Missouri, under the leadership of Robert A. Long, began building a premier sawmill at Longville, Louisiana. The steam driven sawmill could cut 350,000 feet of lumber per day. Long- Bell also built homes and all the support facilities needed to sustain the large population of workers and their families. Longville was a "closed town," meaning that the company owned all residential housing, the commissary, hotel, theater, and doctor's office. The Lake Charles and Northern Railroad and the Louisiana and Pacific Railroad provided transportation for the residents and also hauled the sawmill's logs and lumber.
On June 3, 1921, a massive fire destroyed the Long-Bell Lumber Company. Since logging operations had already nearly decimated the Longleaf Pine forest, the company decided not to rebuild the sawmill. Long-Bell sold all of its buildings and moved the workers to other mills. Long-Bell continued to operate a hardwood flooring mill at Longville until 1929.
Nearly a century later, the Long Bell Lumber Company's original red-brick bank building, the First Baptist church, a few company houses, and the millpond (Longville Lake) remain in use.