History : Lees Mill was built by Thomas Blount in 1702. At some time after 1706, following the death of Thomas Blount, Colonel Thomas Lee married the widow of Thomas Blount, and dubbed the mill built by Blount with his own name. Thomas Lee subsequently built a dam at the site of the Mill. It was in 1921 that this oldest developed waterpower in North Carolina came to an unfortunate and tragic end. After more than 215 years of continuous operation, it was to die at the hands of angry farmers. It seems that during times of heavy precipitation, the dammed waters of Kendricks Creek would rise above their banks inundating the surrounding fields, destroying valuable crops. After enduring this situation for a number of years and having received no relief, the victims of this flooding decided to take matters into their own hands. They blew up the dam. In 1888 a new industry came to Roper under the caption of John L. Roper Land and Lumber Company. John L. Roper, who was originally from Pennsylvania, first became familiar with the town when he was a union soldier stationed in Virginia. He saw the potential of the area for lumber production, and after the Civil War he returned to the town that today bears his name. In tribute to the new industry, the name of the town was changed to Roper, on August 14, 1989. Roper was chartered in 1906. Roper became a boomtown. During its peak, the Roper Lumber Company was the biggest supplier of cedar shingles in the United States. The John L. Roper Lumber Company was one of the largest lumber companies in the United States. Mr. Roper had lumber mills throughout North Carolina and Virginia. The mill closest to Roper was in Belhaven. Logs were brought to and from Virginia and North Carolina on Mr. Ropers railroad, The Albemarle and Pantego Railroad. They crossed the Albemarle Sound and entered Mackeys Ferry and made their way to Roper. The railroad eventually ran south, straight through the middle of Roper on its way to Belhaven. The railroad ran along what is now Railroad Street.