A History of Woodstock, North Carolina

In 1729, the Act separating Beaufort and Hyde counties authorized a court house to be built on the lands of William Webster, on the west side of the Pungo River. In 1738, the precincts of Bath County were redesignated Hyde, Beaufort, and Craven County. In 1738, the town of Woodstock was laid out on Webster’s plantation and became the first county seat of Hyde County. It remained so for more than fifty years.


A fact not generally known, is that Bath, the oldest town in North Carolina and in colonial days the state seat of government, was at one time in the old Hyde Precinct. Hyde County’s first seat of government was in Woodstock (now in Beaufort County). It was eventually moved to Germantown and then to Lake Landing. In 1836, it was moved to Swan Quarter, its present location.
In 1738, a new town was laid out and started on land that is now in Beaufort County, but was then a part of Hyde. Hyde County had been authorized a separate government and court house since 1729, but had no town in which the court house could be built. William Harris, Samuel Sinclair, and John Smith were appointed commissioners to lay out a town in “half acre lots and streets not less than 60 feet wide.” Lots were to be sold for forty shillings. Provision was made that if the buyer had not built a house of minimum standard upon his lot within a period of two years, the lot reverted to the town for resale.

This was the colonial town of Woodstock. It was located on the west bank of the Pungo River, on the plantation of William Webster. This is in the vicinity of the present community of Winsteadville. A court house, jail, and pillory were built in Woodstock, which became the first county seat of Hyde County. During the American Revolution, Woodstock served as a port for shipping naval stores and other produce of the area.

In 1789, the court house and jail were burned. At a later date the public lots were sold, as the seat of government for Hyde County was being moved. Woodstock has since vanished. Part of the ruins are now covered by the Pungo River, and the remainder of this early town has become a dairy farm. The name Woodstock is preserved in the name of the rural electric cooperative that serves the area.


In 1790, the Hyde County court house was moved from Woodstock to Bell's Bay or Jasper's Creek on the east side of the Pungo River.
Woodstock was granted a US Post Office on December 25, 1800, and its first Postmaster was Mr. Seth Hovey. This PO was permanently closed prior to 1832 (exact date and reason why unknown).


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