F. Long celebrates his 100th birthday

Store owner BF Long hands the Remington 270 bolt-action rifle to Tammy Davis.

From: Jennifer Britt

Attorney Parsons

Third generation owner of Long store, Ben Long celebrated 100 years in business at Parsons. Long celebrated with a free chicken burn and side dishes for its patrons. Long also held raffles for a Remington 270 BDL Custom Deluxe bolt action rifle and a Lodge Cook It All brand.

The winner of the Remington 270 bolt-action rifle was Tammy Davis. When Long asked Davis what she was going to hunt with the gun, Davis replied with a laugh and a smile, “Nothing! I’m not even gonna shoot this gun because it hits too hard. Long said, “I’m so glad someone around won the gun.”

Debbie Thompson won the Lodge Cook It All cast iron set. The first customer of the day for the celebration was Mark Heckler.

Long said he had enough chicken plates for 100 customers, and they were all gone in 35 minutes. The barbecue chicken was cooked by Edward Evans and looked amazing. Long said, “It was a great outing. Everything was orderly and everyone was happy.

In 1922, Long’s grandfather started the business on Walnut Street as a nickel and dime store named BF Long & Cie. Later, the price of the offered goods would increase to 0.25 cents and $1. The store survived when others did not.

In 1917, Long’s grandfather moved his family from Clarksburg to Parsons with dreams of owning a successful store. Many told Grandpa he would come to Tucker County and go bankrupt. Grandpa just said he had no intention of going bankrupt, and he proved them all wrong. The grandfather would open this store in rented space on Walnut Street for two years, 1922 and 1923, then move to the store’s current location and remain there for 98 years.

Long’s store no longer carries the coin selection, but offers a range of firearms and ammunition, fishing rods and tackle, Lodge cast iron cooking utensils, setting supplies preserves and everything you won’t find anywhere else.

Long hopes that one day, when he’s ready to retire, his son, a fourth-generation Long, will come in and take over. At 78, Long has no plans to retire any time soon. Long said, “Right now I’m in good health and plan to stay for a while.”

When asked why he had been so successful for 100 years, Long replied, “Good customers! We’ve had good, loyal customers for 100 years and we still have. That’s what keeps us going, it’s our customers.

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Edward L. Robinett