With a population of 36,648, Longview is the largest city in Cowlitz County, in the southwest part of Washington. Founded in 1923 near the confluence of the Cowlitz River and Columbia River, it was a "planned city" in conjunction with the Long-Bell Lumber Company's decision to acquire extensive timberlands in the area and build a mill that would employ thousands of workers. Longview is west of the Cowlitz River, while the city of Kelso (population 11,810) is primarily on the east. Two bridges across the river connect the cities. Cowlitz County's population is 102,133.
Longview is about 50 miles north of Portland, Oregon, and 125 miles south of Seattle. The Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains are within a 90 minute drive.
The wood products industry is still important to the community, with mills operated by Weyerhaeuser, Kapstone, and Norpac. The Port of Longview and two other ports in the county make the area a hub for international trade. Health care, retail, and government are also major sources of employment.
The Longview School District has two high schools, three middle schools, and eight elementary schools. Kelso has one high school, two middle schools, and seven elementary schools. Three Rivers Christian School is a K-12 Christian school in Longview. St. Rose School has a K-8 program. Lower Columbia College is a community college in Longview that offers degree and certificate programs, as well as bachelor's and master's degree programs offered on campus in partnership with several universities.
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