Situated in the East Texas Piney Woods, Longview was established in 1870 when O. H. Methvin deeded land to the Southern Pacific to build a railroad station. The village became the county seat of Gregg County in 1873 and quickly prospered as a rail, cotton, and manufacturing center. The discovery of the East Texas Oil Field in 1930-1931 revealed that Longview sat in the middle of the world's largest pool of petroleum. The boom had begun! Today Longview is home to almost 80,000 residents. The city that bills itself as "Real East Texas" is a manufacturing, medical, and educational center and home to such events as the Great Texas Balloon Race and Alley Fest arts festival.