Sanford, North Carolina
—  City  —
The Lee County Courthouse in Sanford
Location of Sanford, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°28′33″N 79°10′32″W / 35.47583, -79.17556Coordinates: 35°28′33″N 79°10′32″W / 35.47583, -79.17556
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Lee
 • Mayor Cornelia Olive
 • City manager Hal Hegwer
 • Total 24.2 sq mi (62.6 km2)
 • Land 24.1 sq mi (62.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 354 ft (108 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 23,220
 • Density 964.7/sq mi (372.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 919
FIPS code 37-59280[1]
GNIS feature ID 1022497[2]

Sanford is a city in Lee County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 23,220 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Lee County.[3]


Sanford is located at 35°28′33″N 79°10′32″W / 35.475881, -79.175463 (35.475881, -79.175463).[4]. Sanford is known throughout North Carolina as the direct center of the state.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.1 square miles (62.5 km2).24.1 square miles (62.3 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2) of it (0.33%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 23,220 people, 8,550 households, and 5,899 families residing in the city. The population density was 964.7 people per square mile (372.5/km2). There were 9,223 housing units at an average density of 383.2 per square mile (147.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.87% White, 29.19% African American, 0.50% Native American, 1.06% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 11.93% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.03% of the population.

There are 8,550 households, out of which 34.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 people and the average family size was 3.15 people.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,804, and the median income for a family was $39,447. Males had a median income of $30,527 versus $23,393 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,038. About 14.8% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.4% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government[]

Sanford operates under a council-manager government. The city council consists of the mayor and seven council members, each with a four-year term. Five of the council seats are ward (district) representatives , and two seats are citywide representatives elected at-large.

City Council[]

The 2008 city council members are:

Business and Industry[]

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"[1]. Today large brick production continues via manufacturers such as General Shale and Lee Brick & Tile.

Sanford also produces textiles, and has recently seen the influx of the BioTech industry with the Wyeth Vaccines aka-Pfizer facility becoming the area's largest employer in 2006 [2].

Situated nearly equidistant from the Greensboro, Raleigh/Durham/RTP, and Fayetteville metro areas, Sanford is well positioned to provide manufacturing, services, and housing throughout the region for business and industry.

Other large employers are:

  • 3M
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Central Carolina Hospital
  • Coty, Inc., a cosmetics and perfume manufacturer whose brands include J-Lo, Celine Dion and Calgon.
  • Magneti Marelli
  • Moen
  • Precision Castparts Corporation
  • Static Control Components, manufacturer of anti-static equipment and component parts for remanufactured laser printer toner cartridges.
  • Tyson Foods

Additional information on Lee County and Sanford Economic Development can be found at:



The city's newspaper of record is The Sanford Herald, which has published continuously since 1930. The newspaper is owned by Paxton Media Group, based in Paducah, Kentucky., and it has been run by three generations of the Horner family:
• W.E. Horner Sr. (Founder and Publisher Emeritus)
• William E. Horner Jr. (Publisher, 1991–98)
• Bill Horner III, Publisher (current publisher)
The Herald is currently a six-day-a-week morning newspaper and is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations and of the North Carolina Press Association. In February, 2007, The Herald named Billy Liggett as editor.

Sanford and the rest of Lee County are also covered by the Lee County Star-Tribune, an online paper published by Apex, North Carolina-based Peak Media Group.

Radio Stations[]

  • W204AV 88.7 - Christian
  • WDCC 90.5 - variety (owned by Central Carolina Community College)
  • WLHC 103.1 - pop standards
  • WFJA 105.5 - oldies
  • WDSG 107.9 - beach/oldies/gospel
  • WWGP 1050 - country
  • WXKL 1290 - gospel

Source: RDU Radio Waves

Local Programs[]

Local Blogs and Discussion Forums[]

Local Officials

Organizational & Neighborhood Discussion Groups and Blogs


The Lee County campus of Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) is located in Sanford. CCCC awards degrees, diplomas and certifications in a variety of programs and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the North Carolina State Board of Education, and by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Sanford is home to three high schools: Lee County High School, Lee Early College on CCCC's campus, and Southern Lee High School. Southern Lee High School opened its doors in the 2005-2006 school year. The two schools have developed a rivalry in which, Lee County won the first basketball game 62-60 on a last second shot. Lee County also won the first football game, 56-33, with their halfback, Rashon Kennedy, running for over 400 yards. Also, in the 2005-2006 school year, Lee Early College opened for the first year. In the program, students attend classes at the Lee County campus of Central Carolina Community College, and within a 4 to 5 year time frame earn not only a high school diploma, but an associate's degree as well.

There are three middle schools: West Lee Middle School, East Lee Middle School and SanLee Middle School. An alternative school, Bragg Street Academy, serves students in grades 7 through 11.

The Lee county school system has six traditional elementary schools: B.T. Bullock Elementary, Broadway Elementary, Deep River Elementary, Greenwood Elementary, J. Glenn Edwards Elementary, and J.R. Ingram, Jr. Elementary. Lee county is also home to an optional year round elementary school: Tramway Elementary.

Sanford is also home to a non-public Montessori school, The Montessori School of Sanford, which provides education from pre-school through fifth grade. Also within the county are two private Christian schools, serving preschool through 12th grade: Grace Christian and Lee Christian as well as a charter school, Provisions Academy. Warren Williams Child Development Center serves pre-kindergarten students, and Floyd L. Knight the Children's Center serves severe and profoundly handicapped students.


Sanford was named for C.O. Sanford, a railroad civil engineer instrumental in the building of the rail lines through the area that formed the foundation of what became the city of Sanford.

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, both 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.

The general Sanford area played key roles in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, specifically regarding sites like the House in the Horseshoe and Endor Iron Furnace. Over the following decades, the Sanford area became an important source of coal, brownstone, and brick. In particular brownstone and subsequent brick production made Sanford a key provider of these building materials for areas throughout the United States.[5]



Sanford-Lee County Airport (ICAO: KTTA, FAA LID: TTA) is located approximately 7 miles northeast of Sanford via U.S. 1. The airport opened in 2000, replacing the Sanford Lee County Brick Field, and provides both recreational and corporate services.

Designated routes and highways[]

  • United States Highways:
    • U.S. 1 known also in parts as Jefferson Davis Hwy and Hawkins Avenue(U.S. Bus 1)
    • U.S. Route 15
    • U.S. Route 421, known as Horner Boulevard
    • U.S. Route 501
  • North Carolina Highways:
    • N.C. Route 42
    • N.C. Route 78
    • N.C. Route 87

Commercial rail service[]

Public transit[]

The County of Lee Transit System (COLTS) is a coordinated transit system that provides transportation services in Sanford and Lee County.

Bicycle and pedestrian[]

  • The Maine-to-Florida U.S. Bicycle Route 1 passes through downtown Sanford and Lee County.
  • A half-mile greenway trail is located in the Kiwanis Family Park with additional mileage under development.
  • San-Lee Park features several miles of mountain bike trails, ranging from intermediate to advanced, as well as hiking trails, just a few miles from downtown Sanford.[6]



Parks and Recreation[]

Performing Arts[]

Notable former residents[]

  • Lita, former WWE Diva; now resides in Atlanta, Georgia
  • J. D. McDuffie, NASCAR driver (deceased)
  • Herb Thomas, NASCAR driver
  • Hardy Boyz, WWE wrestlers (older brother Matt was born in a Sanford hospital, and both lived there for a few months)
  • Floyd Council, Jazz musician (deceased)


External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Sanford, North Carolina. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.