Right about the time people were being cut off from legally drinking liquor in the United States, the first head of hair was cut at Longview Barber Shop.

Right about the time people were being cut off from legally drinking liquor in the United States, the first head of hair was cut at Longview Barber Shop.

Prohibition has long been a thing of the past, but Clintonville's oldest continually operated business is poised to carry on into the future.

Mark Twain wrote:

"All things change except barbers, the ways of barbers, and the surroundings of barbers. These never change. What one experiences in a barber's shop the first time he enters one is what he always experiences in barbers' shops afterward till the end of his days."

"I think for us it starts with keeping it basic, focusing on good haircuts," Dave Carty said last week. Carty is the current and seventh owner of 92-year-old Longview Barber Shop.

This is not only an old barber shop, but also an old-school one. The "bzzz" of clippers mixes with the buzz of conversation as sports and sports figures get kicked around by the barbers, the customers in the chairs and those waiting their turns.

Ohio State men's basketball coach Thad Matta was in for a trim last week, the day after his squad beat Michigan State to avenge their first loss of the season. Was it true, a customer wanted to know, that star freshman Jared Sullinger was spit on by fans in Wisconsin after the team went down to defeat on the road?

Matta's barber neglected to ask.

Current owner Carty, 36, grew up in the village of Plymouth outside Mansfield. He jokes that he became a barber because his teachers used to inform him he would never be able to make a living talking and watching television. He attended barber school in Shelby.

"There's quite a legacy in this shop," Carty said last week. "It's something that we're really aware of through our customers.

"They keep you honest."

To celebrate that long legacy, the Longview Barber Shop is currently celebrating the legacy of the entire Clintonville neighborhood.

Adorning the walls of the shop at 3325 N. High is a timeline display, courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society, that traces from Northwest Territory days to 1919, the year the shop opened.

About 85 percent of what makes up the display comes from the historical society's collection, according to president Mary Rodgers.

The remainder is from images in the "Columbus Memory Project" online archive of local history of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

It's only fitting, Rodgers said, to have Clintonville's oldest business be a place where the neighborhood's history is available for review.

"I think it's great," she said.

"I feel like this barbershop is an important part of this community's history," Carty said.

Based on his research into the business' past, Carty said that original owner Tom Pletcher reached an agreement with a drug store owner in December 1918 to open a barber shop. That took place early the following year.

"We don't know the exact date," Carty said.

In 1926, Pletcher moved his shop from the drug store to 3311 N. High Street.

Longview Barber Shop arrived at its current location in 1980, in about the middle of the same block where it's been from the inception.

Pletcher owned the business until 1945 when Bill Morgan took over. In 1957, Lloyd McKinney became the third owner, but he was only around for two years. Andrew Kingsolver owned Longview Barber Shop from 1959 to 1972 when James Pack took over. Pack, a friend of Carty's family, recruited the current owner to come to Columbus when he retired in 1998, selling the shop to Chris Petrosky. Carty became co-owner with Petrosky in 2001 and sole proprietor two years later.

While many barbershops are struggling as old traditions give way to franchised operations and upscale stylists, Carty said that his operation is thriving. He was forced to add a fourth barber on a part-time basis around Christmas after the Thanksgiving rush led to waiting times of two and a half hours.

Along with Carty, the current cutters at Longview are Jeremy Dalton, Jeremy "Nick" Nicklaus and Merry Gard.

When Carty signed on as the replacement barber upon family friend Pack's retirement, he said that he only expected to be around for a while, building his resume until he could strike out on his own. Now that the historic business has fallen to him, Carty said that he plans to stick around and grow old as Longview Barber Shop grows older still.

"I can't imagine being any other place," he said.