Long Lines Site: Aullville, MO

The Long Lines site near Aullville, Missouri was a part of the AT&T/Bell System Long Lines network between the 1950s and 1980s. During the duration of the network, the Aullville station was responsible for relaying telephone calls on a spur line in western Missouri.

The tower is perhaps the most visible example of the Long Lines network in Missouri because of its location. The tower is located on a side road right off I-70 between Concordia and Higginsville (about 50 miles east of downtown Kansas City), making it extremely visible by those traveling along I-70. Unfortunately, it has had its horns removed for at least 17 years.

This site had two hops: one to the north, where it spurs off the “main” Missouri branch (Kansas City-St. Louis) at Dover, and one to the southwest at Holden.  This spur line carried only telephone traffic. As previously mentioned, the horns have long been removed.

According to FCC records, the tower is presently owned by the State of Missouri and was constructed in July 1958. It appears that a new base station was constructed adjacent to the original base station. It is likely used as a repeater station for the Missouri State Highway Patrol radio system. (See September 2021 update.)

The original base building for the tower appears to predate the tower, and was either an early repeating station for older telephone systems ~or~ the building was re-purposed after AT&T purchased the property. The building resembles a bank from the outside, which is strange because of its location. (It is located in the middle of nowhere.)

The tower was previously owned by the McCullough Comsites Corporation, who purchased many former Long Lines sites and rented out tower space. McCullough had this listed on their [archived] website (circa 2001.)

LOCATION
Aullville, Missouri. Twenty-Five miles east of Kansas City, MO on I-70 just west of the intersection of I-70 and Hwy T, in Lafayette County, MO.

SITE DESCRIPTION
Real estate consists of a 213′ x 350′ lot containing 1.71 acres, m/l, bordered on the north by the outer road (old Hwy 40) and on the west by Tower Road (probably named after the property). East and south side are fenced, north and west sides are open to the roads. A private asphalted driveway enters the property. Property contains one building and one large self-supported tower with a chain-link fence enclosing the tower area.

BUILDING & TOWER
Building is approximately 70′ x 80′ with red brick exterior. There is one front entry (double steel doors), one rear entry, and one exterior stairwell leading to a set of double doors entering the basement. Building has a full basement. Main level has a large equipment room which once housed extensive microwave transceivers, restrooms, various storage and janitorial rooms, and mechanical equipment spaces. Ceiling is approximately 16′ high. The foyer has a stairwell leading to the basement where additional mechanical equipment is located (Diesel generator, heating & AC, pumps, filters, power switching, etc.). Also, there is a large empty equipment area in the basement. Ceiling height in the basement is approximately 13′. Building exterior once contained windows which have been covered by brick. Grounds were well landscaped and nicely maintained during the time AT&T owned the property. The tower is a massive 4-legged self support (no guy wires) structure with a strobe beacon on top. All the microwave dishes have been removed.

Update & Photos: September 2021

Randy Vanscoy, a fellow member of a Long Lines Facebook group and photographer of the Dover site, clarified the present role of this site. Vanscoy is a field engineer for the Missouri Highway Patrol.

The site is owned by the State of Missouri (as per FCC records) and is used by the Missouri Highway Patrol for their MOSWIN radio system. MOSWIN, or Missouri Statewide Interoperability Network, is used by the Missouri Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies for their communications networks.

MOSWIN sites are scattered throughout the state, with at least one repeater site almost (if not all) counties. Many others — including many of the sites Vanscoy is responsible for — are re-purposed former Long Lines sites. Other examples of such former-Long Lines relay sites currently used for MOSWIN include Windsor and Brinktown.

Vanscoy also confirmed the MOSWIN equipment is indeed housed in a “new” base building located closer to the tower.

Tim Souder, a former Long Lines employee, also commented this in the group about the original Aullville building.

(T)he tech that had Aullville always wanted to make it a museum. He had storage buildings full of telephony artifacts. He lived in Concordia. Can’t think of his name.

-Tim Souder

The photos below were taken September 17, 2021 with a higher-quality camera and with better lighting. The Aullville site is surrounded on two sides by crops. Said crops were actually being harvested at the time these photos were taken.

A photo of the site from the northwest at the corner of Old U.S. 40 (the outer road) and Tower Road. It’s believed Tower Road was named after the property when the tower was installed around 1958.
A closeup of the front, with its stunning and somewhat unusual — for a telephone relay office — architectural features.
Looking east on I-70 from the site driveway.

Photos: August 2018

Looking at the base station main entrance, from the west. (Tower Road)
A look at the base station from the east. Note the new base station (yellow arrow point towards it) and the original base station. (See September 2021 update.)
A view of the tower. This tower has had its horns removed fairly early on, before 2001.

(Above photographs taken August 9, 2018 using a Samsung Galaxy Express Prime 2.)

McCullough Site Images (c. 2001)

These pictures were featured on the McCullough Comsites Aullville, MO page on their website, circa about 2001.

A look at the tower.
A look at the front entrance to the building. Note its appearance.
A look at the site from the side facing east.
A look at the inside of the base station.
A look at one of the equipment rooms that would be found inside of the Aullville base station.
The genset which would’ve been a back-up power source for the Aullville site. Most other sites would’ve featured a similar General Motors diesel generator.
Some of the text and photographs featured on this page were/are property of McCullough Comsites Corporation. They are featured here, found as-is from the archived version of their website, for archival and educational purposes.