Our History Committee, Chaired by David ("Mack") McLawhorn, researched the State Archives of North Carolina to discover that the Hyde County courthouse was actually completed in 1838, making it the 8th oldest in the State of North Carolina. The building has been on the National Historic Register since 1979. The first courtroom iteration held court for 54 years and the 2nd and 3rd held court for an additional 110 years - for a total 164 years, from 1838 through 2002!
As we have indicated in our brochure, research by various individuals throughout the years has pointed out some discrepancies regarding the date the Courthouse was actually completed. [When our organization was formed, we decided to use the 1854 date in our name - knowing that it could possibly be wrong, but having to move forward anyhow.]
The History Committee's final report again acknowledges "... this information is, in some instances, in direct conflict with previous milestone dates published or perpetuated by other individuals..."
As you will see when you view the complete report, it appears the Historic Hyde County Courthouse was built in 1838, with additions in 1892 and again in 1909.
(Webmaster's note: A brief history of Hyde County seems appropriate here, and thus it appears in chronological order to make it easier to understand how the current courthouse that we seek to preserve came to exist.)
Records indicate that Hyde County was formed in 1705 as Wickham Precinct in Bath County. Its first courts were held at Bath, and in 1712 its name was changed to Hyde in honor of Colonial Governor Edward Hyde. In 1729 the county seat was moved to Woodstock, near the present boundary between Hyde and Beaufort counties.
When Germantown, on Jasper's creek, became the county seat in 1789, a second courthouse was built. In 1820, the county seat was again moved, this time to Lake Landing where a third courthouse was built. Lake Landing remained the county seat until 1836 when Swan Quarter was selected as the county seat and the county's fourth courthouse was built.
On March 6, 1837 Nathaniel Credle deeded 2 acres in the settlement of Swan Quarter for the purpose of erecting a Court House and Jail for the County of Hyde.
The History Committee has prepared a listing of the Superior Court judges who served during the first 100 years. One list is by session and the other is by first appearance of a given individual judge, with listings of other times at the bench under his name. The one by session makes it easier to follow the two additions added to the courthouse whereas the other one makes it easier to follow a particular judge. Click below for your choice: