Longville, Minnesota

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Location of Longville within Cass County, Minnesota
Location of Longville
within Cass County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 46°59′7″N 94°12′51″W / 46.98528°N 94.21417°W / 46.98528; -94.21417
CountryUnited States
 • Total0.88 sq mi (2.28 km2)
 • Land0.85 sq mi (2.20 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
1,332 ft (406 m)
 • Total156
 • Estimate 
 • Density176.26/sq mi (68.06/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)218
FIPS code27-38114[4]
GNIS feature ID0657204[5]
WebsiteCity of Longville

Longville is a city in Cass County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 156 at the 2010 census.[6] The city was named after its founder Jim Long.[7] The town is roughly 4 hours north of the Twin Cities. It is part of the Brainerd Micropolitan Statistical Area. Minnesota State Highway 84 serves as a main route in the community, and Minnesota State Highway 200 is nearby. Longville is a popular summer tourist destination and services the many cabins on the nearby lakes of Long Lake and the much larger Woman Lake. The population in the winter is under 200 permanent residents, but swells to over 5,000 in the summer when the cabin dwellers are included.

Longville Welcome Sign


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.86 square miles (2.23 km2), of which, 0.84 square miles (2.18 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[8]

Longville is part of the Northern Minnesota's glacial plain, which was flattened by glaciers during the most recent glacial advance. During the last glacial period, massive ice sheets at least 0.62 miles (1 km) thick ravaged the landscape of the state and sculpted its current terrain.[9] The Wisconsin glaciation left 12,000 years ago.[9] These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock. Thus since the landscape is still recovering from the weight of the glaciers and going through post-glacial rebound and the turmoil this created, the landscape is poorly drained creating the numerous lakes and rivers found in Cass County.

Long Lake itself is very deep, up to 110 feet (34 m), and drops off rather quickly from shore. This is very unusual for lakes of this size in this region, as they normally are no more than 50 feet (15 m) in depth.

The cultural landscape of Longville and its surrounding lands can be characterized as seasonal and recreational. The bulk of human activity occurs in the summer when the numerous cabin owners vacation at their lake homes, and the activities they engage in are mostly recreational in nature.


The area was inhabited for thousands of years by succeeding cultures of Indians. Before European settlement, the Ojibwe moved into the area from the Great Lakes, pushing out the historic Dakota peoples, such as the Assiniboine and Hidatsa. European American settlers followed the early fur traders and trappers, and encroached on Native American territories.

Longville started around 1906 as a logging town in what is now Cass County. Fishing was very popular in early Longville, and this form of recreation is still highly prevalent today. Tourism later grew as a service industry. In the twentieth century, people from urban areas came to more rural areas for recreation associated with lakes, fishing, hunting and water sports. All of the roads in and around Longville were dirt before the 1920s. Much of the downtown was rebuilt during the mid-20th century. Many of the cabins in the surrounding landscape were built in the late 1960s and 1970s. By the 1980s the Longville area was almost fully developed. The town changed little since 1990, keeping its quaint personality and not suffering from the overdevelopment plaguing other Cass County towns.


Socio-economically Longville is both white and blue collar, as the economy is primarily made up of two sectors, services and real estate. A large number of service industries such as a marina, hardware stores, grocery stores, gas station, bait shop etc. support the cabins. These largely blue collar type service industries also share the primary economy with the more white-collar industry of buying and selling real estate. Most of the real estate is focused on the purchasing and selling of cabins and lake homes, which are often quite expensive, making a real estate career one of the top paying occupations in the region. Unlike boats, cars, and other expensive toys like snowmobiles and jet skis that can be bought elsewhere and brought to Longville (thus not profiting the local economy), real estate cannot be bought elsewhere.

Longville's diverse service economy includes a grocery store, gas station, bar, coffee shop, bait shop, supper club, realty services, airplane rides, boat maintenance, three hardware stores, a library, clinic, bank, airport, multiple art galleries, gift shops, pizza parlor, ice cream shop, mini golf, sporting goods and even a new (as of summer 2012) chicken wing restaurant. All of these businesses support the cabin owners when they visit on vacation. It is important to note that Longville services not just nearby Long Lake, but the many other lakes in the area including the much larger Woman Lake, which is a well known fishing lake.

Few of the summer visitors spend much time earning wages or on other compensation-based activities. They instead drive the local service economy which is dependent upon them. Many of the service businesses are only seasonally open in the summer as there is not enough customer traffic in the winter to be profitable. This differs of course from the regular maintenance and upkeep that cabins require such as mowing grass, cleaning bathrooms, and hauling brush. These types of activities are considered "work" but usually are done by the homeowner without receiving a paycheck from an employer.

Longville has a weekly newspaper, the Pine Cone Press-Citizen.


Long Lake is not a good walleye lake, it has only a handful of them. It was stocked with walleye around 2000. The lake, however, is very scenic and an excellent lake to use a pontoon boat on and view wildlife from the water.

Despite being a poor walleye lake, Long Lake is an excellent northern pike lake. They are easy to catch at the drop offs, where the lake goes from 20–25 feet to 50 feet in depth in just a 5-foot space.[citation needed]. An excellent place to catch northern pike is around the two grassy islands towards the northern end of the lake. Sunfish and bluegills are also very common and easy to catch off the dock.

Longville is home to many types of birds, including water fowl, forest birds, and even eagles. Nearby lakes are home to many common loons, the state bird of Minnesota. Common loons are a frequent sight on Long Lake and have been for decades becoming part of the lake's identity. Bald eagles also inhabit the region. They can be seen flying above lakes such as Long Lake and picking fish out the water. It is not uncommon to see a bald eagle fly over Long Lake with a fish in its talons.

Multiple small forest mammals make the Longville region home. Beavers can be found in the many marshes, streams, and ponds in the area. Racoons are known to tear apart cabin trash cans. Martens and fishers can also be found in the woods along with the much smaller and more common mink. Wolverines used to inhabit the forests but are now extinct in Minnesota, with the last sighting in 1920. In the 1800s mountain lions were fairly common in the area, but are now endangered in Minnesota. Conversely, white-tailed deer are a common sight in the woods and along the highway coming into town from the east from Lake Inguadona. Bears inhabit the area as well.

Porcupines like to gnaw on cabin floorboards and are considered in the area as a pest. The area is home to numerous feral lab dogs that escaped from their hunter owners.[citation needed]

Timberwolves also inhabit the region, but they are difficult to spot given that they live mainly in dense forest and marsh areas.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2017150[3]−3.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 156 people, 92 households, and 41 families residing in the city. The population density was 185.7 inhabitants per square mile (71.7/km2). There were 164 housing units at an average density of 195.2 per square mile (75.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 100.0% White.

There were 92 households of which 10.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.9% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 55.4% were non-families. 48.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 35.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.70 and the average family size was 2.39.

The median age in the city was 63.8 years. 11.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 9.6% were from 25 to 44; 25.1% were from 45 to 64; and 48.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 43.6% male and 56.4% female.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,167, and the median income for a family was $27,917. Males had a median income of $16,563 versus $8,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,162.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 180 people, 103 households, and 52 families residing in the city. The population density was 301.7 people per square mile (115.8/km²). There were 150 housing units at an average density of 251.4 per square mile (96.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.11% White, 3.33% Native American, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.56% of the population.

There were 103 households out of which 9.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.5% were non-families. 48.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 35.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.75 and the average family size was 2.46.

In the city, the population was spread out with 11.7% under the age of 18, 3.9% from 18 to 24, 11.7% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 48.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 64 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,818, and the median income for a family was $39,583. Males had a median income of $20,625 versus $16,250 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,524. None of the families and 5.3% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 6.2% of those over 64.


Longville is "The Turtle Racing Capital of the World ". Every Wednesday through the summer, and July 4, the town's main street is shut down for the turtle races and other attractions, such as food stands, games, and dance contests.

Longville Municipal Airport is located within the city.

The tourist season runs from about mid-May through Labor Day weekend. The town is filled with people, many of which are from the Twin Cities, visiting cabins. In winter the town is primarily composed of locals who snowmobile or snowshoe. Shops in town have very limited hours, or are closed, in winter.

Despite being a tourist destination, Longville is not known for its restaurants. There are only a handful, including Frosty's ice cream and pizza parlor, Patrick's, a supper club on the far end of downtown on Girl Lake. The town also has a grocery store, Tabaka's grocery store (part of SuperValu), and a coffee shop, Common Grounds, which provides free wireless internet access.

The Northland Scenic Hiking Trail can be accessed only a few miles north of town.

Float plane rides are offered most Saturdays in downtown Longville.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Longville History". Longville.com. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  9. ^ a b Ojakangas, Richard W.; Charles L. Matsch (1982). Minnesota's Geology. Illus. Dan Breedy. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-0953-5.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°59′11″N 94°12′41″W / 46.98639°N 94.21139°W / 46.98639; -94.21139