Lee Historical Society
Who Makes up Lee?
Lee Historical Society
    Just like the country it resides in, Lee is a melting pot of many nationalities and cultures with generations of residents from every corner of the world melding together. The land that Lee now sits upon was once the hunting ground for the Ausuttonog, though it isn’t known as to whether they actually set up camp here.

    The Europeans seemed to dominate, particularly the English, Irish, Dutch and Italians, although certainly French-Canadians put down roots here as well. When it comes to the Dutch, one particular member of the Royal Family of Holland spent quite some time enjoying her vacation in Lee. More can be learned about that by clicking the “More” button.

    It seems the African-American population of Lee were treated here much as they were in most other parts of the country, which is a rather more shameful part of Lee’s history. However, one saving grace for our town is that, unlike many others, the African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War are commemorated on a plaque in Memorial Hall.

    It was once said, by whom has been lost in the mists of the past, that a certain group of immigrants imported from their homeland “poets, saints, great horses, whiskey, playwrights and glassware”. It seems Lee was blessed with the Luck of the Irish as plenty of them turned up here. What was their contribution to the area? And what was it about the marble quarries that brought a wave of Italian artisans here? Click “More” to find out.

    The Shakers once had a thriving community on the borders of Lee and Tyringham. By the late 1800’s, their settlement had diminished greatly as members left for other parts of New England, and the only Shakers still in Lee are those buried in the Shaker Cemetery. Want to learn more about the women who opened a tea room on the abandoned property and discovered much of the old settlement still standing? Click the “More” button!

    The original settlers of Lee came not from abroad, but from Cape Cod and Connecticut, there being a story that the former arrived here believing in a rascally scam! What could that have been? Click on the “More” button and all will be revealed. 

    More recent members of our town are people from the Asian continent and also from Latin America. In other words, Lee epitomizes the American notion of being a land of immigrants.