World’s most beautiful farm

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By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
December 7, 2016
Upon its opening in 1914, Longview Farm was hailed by many as the world’s most beautiful farm. Longview was the country estate of Kansas City lumber baron and local philanthropist Robert Alexander Long.
This real photo postcard shows a south view of the Country Home, Longview Farm, Lee’s Summit, Mo. The primary residence at Longview was the Longview Mansion, also known as the Long Country Home. The mansion, along with 50 other farm structures, was constructed in just 18 months between 1913 and 1914. An army of 50 Belgian craftsmen and close to 200 Sicilian stonemasons were among the 2,000 workers employed to turn roughly 1,700 acres of “scrub” into one of the most beautiful working farms in the country.
Long’s daughter, Loula, and her husband, Robert Pryor Combs, lived at Longview for more than 60 years as she competed in and won international horse shows in New York, Canada and England. She became known as the Queen of the American Royal and was elected to the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. All of her prize-winning horses were raised and trained at Longview Farm, including her favorite, Revelation, whose grave marker is in front of the Show Horse Arena.
Today, much of the farm is gone, subdivided into parkland, Longview Lake and a “new Longview” development of “walkable” neighborhoods filled with new homes, shops and a school fashioned from one of the Long horse barns. The only original structures that were retained were the mansion, the chapel and a few of the various barns that once dotted the property. Gone are the worker’s cottages, the Hospital Barn, the hog manager’s residence and most of the other out buildings that once dotted the countryside just west of Lee’s Summit on what was known far and wide as the world’s most beautiful farm.

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