Lee County, in the extreme southwestern tip of the state bordered by Kentucky and Tennessee, is nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Plateau in majestic mountains with calm streams that meander through the valleys that magnificently display the beauty and calmness that reflects an overwhelming peacefulness. Established in 1792, the county was named for Henry Light Horse Harry Lee, a revolutionary war hero and Governor of Virginia (1791-1794). Our history began long before the advent of Light-Horse Harry.
Lee County is the home of Cumberland Gap, natures doorway through the ancient Appalachians that led settlers to the American West. Indigenous tribes used the pass for uncounted centuries to stalk game, trade, and make war. In 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker came upon the gap and cracked open a door that led settlers to the region. Daniel Boone later carved the Wilderness Road, which was traveled by hundreds of thousands of pioneers as they migrated across the mountains into a new frontier.
The pioneer spirit is alive and well in Lee County. With a population of about 25,000, a land area of 438 square miles, and an economy based on stock farming, tobacco agriculture, coal mining, timber, and a federal prison, Lee County people continue to live close to a land that we have loved for generations.