Lee and South Lee are on, and East Lee is near, the Housatonic river.
The first paper mill in the township was built in South Lee in 1806, and for a time more paper was made in Lee than in any other place in the United States; the Housatonic Mill in Lee was probably the first (1867) in the United States to manufacture paper from wood pulp.
The Housatonic river forms the eastern boundary.
The first settlement within the township was made in 1720 by Dutchmen and Englishmen, who in 1719 had bought from the Indians a tract of land along the Housatonic, called "Weatogue" - an Indian word said to mean "the wigwam place."
On either side of the city flow the east and west branches of the Housatonic river.
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