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Cities and Towns in Hyde County

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Swan Quarter

History of Hyde County

Hyde County was originally named Wickham County (precinct) in 1705 and the name was changed in 1712 upon the death of Governor Edward Hyde. Courts were held in the shared Bath courthouse until 1729, when an Act was passed separating the precincts of Beaufort and Hyde and authorizing a courthouse to be built on the land of William Webster.

In 1738, a town by the name of Woodstock was laid out on Webster's land. The courthouse at Woodstock burned about 1789, and in 1790 an Act was passed moving the courthouse to Bell's Bay or Jasper's Creek. The county seat was on Jasper's Creek during 1791-1792. A law was passed in 1791 establishing a town on land belonging to Germain Bernard where the courthouse stands. This town was called Germain-town. In 1820, the old courthouse was authorized to be sold and a new one erected at Lake Landing or within two miles of it. In 1836, commissioners were named to purchase land from Zacheriah Gibbs for a county seat, or within one-fourth mile of the place called Swan Quarter, and erect a courthouse. Swan Quarter, established in 1812, became the county seat in 1836.

The boundaries of Hyde County have evolved over almost three hundred years. Because of the changes in the county's boundaries, a person may have lived in several counties during his lifetime, while residing in the same location.

The lands lying south of the Albemarle Sound, along the Pamlico River, had begun to be settled by 1691. This area became Bath County in 1696 and in 1705, it was divided into three precincts: Wickham, Pamptecough and Archdale, with Bath Town as the county seat. Wickham Precinct began just east of Bath at Mellyne's (later Sinclare's) Creek on the west side of the Matchapungo (later Pungo) River and on the north side of the Pamlico River including all the land from the creek eastward to Matchapungo Bluff, near present day New Holland. About 1712 the precincts of Bath County were renamed Hyde, Beaufort and Craven Precincts, respectively. Hyde was named in honor of Governor Edward Hyde who died in 1712.

In 1729, the act separating Beaufort and Hyde Counties authorized a courthouse to be built on the lands of William Webster, on the west side of the Pungo River. In 1739 the Precincts of Bath Counties were redesignated Hyde, Beaufort and Craven County. In Hyde County the town of Woodstock had been laid out on Webster's plantation and became the first county seat of Hyde County. It remained so for fifty years. In 1745, the eastern part of present day Hyde County, "Mattamuskeet and the lake thereunto belonging" was annexed from Currituck County. The area is generally believed to run from present day New Holland to beyond Engelhard at the eastern end of Hyde. The boundary line between Hyde and Tyrrell was authorized to be established. The line was to run as follows: "Beginning where the counties of Beaufort, Martin and Tyrrell corner, thence a direct course to Long Shoal River, and thence the same course continued to Pamptico Sound."

Around 1790, the county seat was moved from Woodstock to Bell's Bay or Jasper's Creek and in 1791 a law was passed establishing a town "where the courthouse stands." It was named Germantown for German Bernard, who owned the property. The county seat was moved to Lake Landing in 1820. In 1819, all that part of Hyde County lying on the west side of the Pungo River was annexed to Beaufort County. In 1823, part of Currituck which was south of New Inlet was annexed to Hyde. It is believed that this included the area of the Outer Banks known as Hatteras Island. Swan Quarter, established about 1812, became the county seat in 1836 and a courthouse was built there around 1850. Ocracoke Island, which was previously part of Carteret County, became part of Hyde County in 1845. Dare County was formed in 1870 from Currituck, Hyde and Tyrrell Counties. (Hyde County ceded Hatteras Island to Dare County.) And lastly, the boundary line between Hyde and Tyrrell was established in 1890 and validated by law in 1921.

Present-day Hyde County is bounded on the north by Dare and Tyrrell Counties, on the northwest by Washington County and on the west by Beaufort County. Across the Pamlico River is Pamlico County and across the Pamlico Sound to the south are Carteret and Craven Counties. To the east of Ocracoke Island is the Atlantic Ocean.

- Source: J.D. Lewis - Little River, SC


More Information

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 5,826 people, 2,185 households, and 1,433 families residing in the county. The population density was 10 people per square mile (4/km²). There were 3,302 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 62.65% White, 35.07% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.84% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 2.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,185 households out of which 26.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.70% were married couples living together, 13.10% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.40% were non-families. 30.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.40% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 16.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 112.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,444, and the median income for a family was $35,558. Males had a median income of $25,216 versus $20,482 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,164. About 10.30% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.50% of those under age 18 and 23.00% of those age 65 or over.

- Source: Wikipedia