Sanford is a city in Lee County, North Carolina, United States. Sanford is located in Lee County, North Carolina, which was formed from parts of the surrounding three counties in 1907. On creation of the new county, Sanford and Jonesboro were the major towns in the area. Rather than decide which would be the county seat, the decision was to place the county’s new courthouse directly between the two towns. For decades, Lee County was the only county in the United States to have a courthouse with an RFD address. In the late 20th century Sanford had grown to such an extent that it eventually merged with Jonesboro. The town of Jonesboro became Jonesboro Heights, and the name of Sanford was kept for the town.
Because Sanford sits where white beach sand from the coast meets the Piedmont clay, the city has the right ingredients to be a large producer of clay bricks. In 1959, Sanford produced 10% of the bricks in the United States and was named “Brick Capital of the USA”. Today large brick production continues via manufacturers such as General Shale and Lee Brick & Tile.
Sanford also produces textiles, and has since seen the influx of the biotech industry with the Wyeth Vaccines, aka Pfizer, facility becoming the area’s largest employer in 2006.