Longview's Historic Treasure
208 East College
Date of construction: 1885
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Recorded Texas Historical Landmark: 1999
Local merchant B. F. Lewis and his wife, E. A. Lewis, constructed the house. In 1905 they sold their home to James Knox Bivins, a Confederate veteran and lumberman, who presented the deed to his wife Viola (Cobb) as a gift. The couple moved to Longview in order to live close to his sawmill in the nearby Talley community. Mr. Bivins also worked as an apprentice at the Kelly Plow Company.
The Bivins family raised 4 children in the large home on College Street. Years later, in 1941, with an inheritance from her father, Viola Bivins restored the structure. Mrs. Bivins is also remembered for helping to form the Red Cross Chapter in Longview.
Among the last Victorian dwellings in Longview, the structure exhibits mixed folk Victorian elements with cornice returns, spindlework porch balusters and decorative porch post brackets. A simple folk form with Queen Anne accents, the design remains largely intact.
The home was purchased in 2002 by Bill Haacke and David Fields.