Longview is known for its view west toward the first range of the Rocky Mountains, its cattle ranching heritage and its natural resources (principally oil), but more importantly the open spaces, rivers (the Highwood) and for its beef.
Longview is also known as the home of Canadian Country Music star Ian Tyson.
Highwood River flows west of the village.
The Long brothers, Thomas and Oliver, homesteaded at Big Hill, not far from where the village is now. Their last name combined with the view from the then post office, which was opened in 1908, is how the village was named. When the oilfields at Turner Valley were revived in 1936, Longview became known as Little New York. Little New York, had a sister town uphill to the north called Little Chicago. No one seems to know how Little Chicago and Little New York got their names and both towns grew up over night.
In 1936 there was nothing there but an empty prairie field. Then, in 1937, oil was discovered at the 6,828-foot (2,081 m) level and people, most of them long out of work because of the great depression, came flocking and Little Chicago and Little New York were born. Buildings appeared like mushrooms. For the first time in years, men who without so much as a coat on their backs or a nickel in their pockets had the first money they had earned since the depression began. Today Little Chicago is gone and except a monument near the Cowboy Trail to the north of the village, little remains to show it ever existed. Little New York was more fortunate, as it is now the village of Longview.
In 1991, Clint Eastwood’s film Unforgiven was filmed in and around Longview, as was the television film starring Tom Selleck, Monte Walsh.
It is in the Canadian Rockies foothills, on Cowboy Trail, 32 km west of High River and 64 km south of Calgary.
- 1 Bar U Ranch, ☎+1 403-395-2212, fax: +1 403-395-2331, e-mail: BarU.Info@pc.gc.ca. National Historic Site run by Parks Canada. This ranch, situated between the Porcupine Hills and the Rocky Mountains, is preserved as life was during the time period 1882-1950. During this time, the Bar U was one of the foremost ranching operations in Canada. Over 35 buildings and structures, as well as the staff in period costume and character, allow the visitor to experience and understand life on the historical ranch. The ranch opens in mid to end May and closes in mid to end September.