Long family story part of Cordova lore
by Ruth Baker
Apr 03, 2011 | 2775 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ruth Baker
Ruth Baker
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We will take another trip into the past to review our history. While signing books at a book signing several years ago, I was asked if I had any information about the Longs of Cordova. I have tried to put together a brief story about B.M. Long.

Benjamin M. Long fought in two wars, the Mexican War and the Civil War. He served as a Confederate Captain, but was against secession. It is said that Wilson’s Raiders spared his property on their march because of this. He was a member of the 1865 Alabama Constitutional Convention and State Legislature, Presidential Elector of the Sixth Alabama District in 1884, and Republican candidate for governor in 1890.

The founding of Cordova is attributed to B.M. Long. He named the town after a place in Mexico. He built several homes in Walker County, but the best known was the Long-Miller house in Cordova.

The house was built on a hill overlooking the city. It was built out of yellow heart pine lumber cut by Shield’s Mill on Blackwater Creek. It had two stories and the style was Greek Revival architecture. The upper porch was supported with four fluted Doric columns. The house had ten rooms — five on each floor with a long hallway through the center. Both floors had double doors with fanlights and sidelights containing elaborate moldings. Needless to say, this was a very eye-catching home for the period in which it was built.

Long Memorial Methodist Church of Cordova is another building bearing the name of Benjamin M. Long. The church was organized in 1888 and was located on land donated by Long. Funds from the estate were given for the construction of a new building after Long’s death in 1903. The dedication was held in 1912 after the structure was completed. The Northern and Southern Methodist Episcopal Churches merged in 1939, and the church became Long Memorial Methodist Church at that time.

The church was built by the style of Late Gothic and was situated on the hill below the Long-Miller Home. It is said to be the second church in Cordova. Beige bricks were used for the exterior walls. It has a square belfry and a cobble-like concrete tile roof. Three beautiful stained glass windows were added with Gothic arches. It was — and is — one of the loveliest churches in Walker County.

B.M. Long built The John W. Long Home at 1500 1st Avenue in Jasper in 1876. It was built on the Greek Revival style. The same builder who built the Cordova home built the Jasper house. These buildings have remained for these many years as a memorial to a great statesman and businessman of Walker County.