Founded on December 3rd 1705 as Wickham Precinct was one of 3 precincts that would later in 1739 be renamed Hyde County. The county was originally named for the manor Temple Wycombe, which was the family home of John Archdale who served as Governor of both North and South Carolina. In 1712 when the name was changed to Hyde it was named after Edward Hyde who served as Governor of North Carolina from 1711 to 1712. It was only after the abolishment of Bath County and Hyde Precinct that Hyde County was actually named.
Hyde County covers an area of 1,424 square miles of which 811 square miles is water, this is over ½ of the area. The county seat of Hyde County is Swan Quarter.
One of the states smallest public school systems is located in Hyde County. There are only two public schools to service the entire area of the county. Mattamuskeet School serves the mainland population while Ocracoke School serves the island of Ocracoke. Both schools cover the grades of K-12. The only private school in the county is a small Mennonite school located in the northwest section of the county to serve the Mennonite population in the community.
Hyde County is known for its conservative values. It has been only recently that Ocracoke has changed its attitude. In fact Ocracoke is said to be the most liberal community in North Carolina. The novel written by Eve Locke, called “The Lesbian, Her Virgin and Ocracoke Island”, was written about Ocracoke Island.
There are several protected areas located in Hyde County, which include portions of the Aligator River National Wildlife Refuge, portions of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, of the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, and Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge.
Some of the more well known facts about Hyde County include they have the smallest population per square mile in North Carolina, Hyde County is the only county in North Carolina without a single stop light, Ocracoke is the only populated town in North Carolina that is only accessible by water or airways, The Swan Quarter to Ocracoke ferry is the longest length ferry in North Carolina, and Lake Mattamuskeet is the largest natural lake in North Carolina.