The Lee Road, or Lee's Settlement, in early days was a somewhat active industrial location. One of the first saw mills in Barre was erected here about 1817 by Artemas Houghton. The pioneer tannery, a crude affair at first, was also located here, and was started by B. J. Gates, who carried on shoemaking in connection with his tanning business. For some years his only vat was a hollow log, but in time the industry was much extended. There are no streams in the town that afford sufficient water power to propel machinery, and because of this lack of natural advantage, manufacturing industries never thrived, being obliged to depend entirely on steam.