Scroll down this page or click on specific site name to view features on the following Lee County attractions/points of interest:

Railroad House, Temple Theater

Fast facts about Lee County:

Created in 1907, the county is named for Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

The county seat is Sanford.  Other communities include Broadway, Colon, Cumnock, Lemon Springs, Swann, and Tramway.

Lee County’s land area is 257.26 square miles; the population in the 2010 census was 57,866.

It is worth noting that Sanford has earned the reputation as the “Brick Making Capital” of the United States.



The Railroad House is the oldest house in Sanford, built by the Raleigh & Augusta Airline Railroad (later the Seaboard Air Line Railroad) in 1872 for its depot agent, William Thomas Tucker.  In addition to fulfilling his duties to the railroad, Tucker was also a successful businessman and, when the town of Sanford was incorporated in 1874, he was appointed its first mayor by the North Carolina House of Representatives.  Mrs. Tucker, meanwhile, operated a school in this house.  Now maintained and operated by the Railroad House Historical Association, the small, two-story frame building serves as a community museum with exhibits pertaining to both the railroad itself and to Lee County.  Among the artifacts is a copy of the July 3, 1907 edition of the Raleigh News & Observer, “toasting” the new Lee County; a pastel portrait of General Robert E. Lee, the county’s namesake, by Mrs. T. M. Cross; farm implements; military uniforms; and information about the Endor Iron Furnace which once operated nearby.  Displayed outside the Railroad House is the 74-ton Atlantic and Western No. 12 steam locomotive built in 1911 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia.  The Railroad House is open 1-4 on Saturdays and Sundays.  Admission is free. 


Built in 1925, Sanford’s Temple Theater is a rare survivor of the days of vaudeville. The venue presented live performances and movies before closing in the 1960s. After standing quiet and empty for many years, the building was donated to the community by the son of the original owner. Following a capital campaign to finance its restoration, the Temple Theater was reopened in 1984. In the time since, the 330-seat facility has become Lee County’s most popular year-round attraction, drawing theater-goers from surrounding counties for a variety of programs: musicals, dramas, and comedies. The Glenn Miller and Count Basie orchestras, the Kingston Trio, and the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival are only a few of the acts to have performed at the Temple in recent years. Shows for the 2014-15 season include Oklahoma, Dracula, The Sanders Family Christmas, I'll Never Be Hungry Again, Ring of Fire, The Fox on the Fairway, and Hairspray.  914-774-4155

Lee County is bordered by CHATHAM, HARNETT (Region Five), and MOORE (Region Seven) counties.