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December 2009

Issue # 15

Hyde County Country Magazine

Cover Photo by Ingrid Lemme

The 1st annual Mattamuskeet Decoy and Waterfowl Festival last month at Mattamuskeet High School in Swan Quarter was a HUGE success for everyone, vendors and visitor alike! The festival was sponsored by the Hyde County Waterfowl Association and local organizations such as the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Ponzer and Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Departments, Hyde County Young Professionals and Mattamuskeet High School and many others.

Photos: Ingrid Lemme




















Quote of the Quarter


In this age of technology, the world is at our fingertips. It's easy to believe that we can see and do it all with the click of a mouse. True, a picture is worth a thousand words, but there are some places and experiences that words cannot describe. - RLT


____ Reader of the Quarter Mazie Smith

I just wanted to thank you for the Swan Quarterly! What a lovely publication with wonderful pictures. It makes this sometimes very homesick Hyde Counity girl feel a little closer to home.

January 15, 2010  Hyde County Waterfowl Association Annual Waterfowl Banquet

Keep up the wonderful work! - from Wendell, NC

We are running a little late with our December Quarterly, but since we had a special Thanksgiving issue and we ‘publish whenever we feel like it’ we know we are OK ;)! We visited the inaugural Mattamuskeet Decoy and Waterfowl festival at Mattamuskeet School and found it very well attended. We met many nice people The Hyde County Waterfowl Association will hold their annual Waterfowl Banquet at Philip's Place in New Holland (Corner of US 264 & Outfall Canal). Banquet doors open at 6:00 p.m.

and took a lot of photos, which we will share with you step by step in every issue. Please take a close look at our inside back cover ad. - I had the great honor of lighting the Christmas tree at Gurney’s Inn, our SQly sponsor, in Montauk with a worldwide celebrated singer Cristina Fontanelli! Please Click on the You-Tube link and Enjoy! - IL with a Happy Hour, and a Pork & Chicken BBQ Supper at 7:00 p.m. The auction begins at 8:00 p.m. There will be live music and door prizes.

Man of the Quarter Dr. Lewis Forrest, Executive Director Of The Mattamuskeet Foundation Inc.

Photo: Ingrid Lemme

...On the Board Walk... Author of the Quarter

Jack Dudley, the author of “Mattamuskeet & Ocracoke Waterfowl Heritage”


Film of the Quarter

“Refuge” the Series, fabulously edited nature films from our backyard

Teens of the Quarter

These nice guys volunteered at the ticket counter at the Mattamuskeet festival

www.lakelandi www.hydecoun

Artist of the Quarter

Book of the Quarter

“A Few Minutes with God” by Doug Gibbs of Hyde County

www.swanquarter. net

www. 12childrenofhope. org

Organization of the Quarter The Mattamuskeet Foundation Inc.

Couple of the Quarter

Brad Gurganus of Swan Quarter and Robin Payne of Ocracoke

Kid of the Quarter The young Mr Gibbs

LADY OF THE QUARTER KAY LYNN MIDGETT SHEPPARD My name is Kay Midgett Sheppard. I was born in Greenville, SC on Oct. 28, 1945 while my father was in the Army Air Force. My parents are Hugh Preston Midgett (1920-2008) & Lossie Staples Midgett (1922 – living). After Dad’s stint in the service we moved back to Middle Tennessee where his family was located. I’ve spent most of my life here. In my late 20s & early 30s I enjoyed gardening, tole painting, and golf but it wasn’t until 1980 that I truly found my passion in life—GENEALOGY. It all started quite innocently in 1980, when a girl who was attending Florida State University sent my father a letter asking that he write down everything he knew about his ancestors. She was doing her thesis on the Midgett family and must have sent out hundreds of letters trying to gather information. Dad soon realized that he knew nothing past his grandfather so that’s when he asked for my help. We started by going to the Wilson Co., TN courthouse in Lebanon because we were told that the Midgett’s

were prevalent in that county. I soon discovered the name of my great-great-grandfather by looking in the marriages, births and deaths and by just talking to older folks in the community. The fun thing about going through those records, is the fact that something for somebody else may pop up and it’s the piece

you need to finish off another puzzle! Then there were trips to the local cemeteries. Do you ever stop by a cemetery just to wander among the graves? Most of my friends think I'm crazy to visit random cemeteries where I don't have any known ancestors and there aren't any "famous" people

buried. I find cemeteries very inspiring, though, as I look at the headstones and wonder about the stories they have to tell. I just can't help myself….just ask my husband! My greatest find, to date, was the headstone of my great-great-grandfather. In an interview, we had been told by a 90-year old man that the “Midgett homestead” was now on private property and that there was a good chance that a cemetery might be located there. After receiving permission from the home owner we traipsed at least a mile through high grass where cattle were feeding. I had about given up ever finding a thing but we came to a pond with a large hill behind it and I had always heard that cemeteries were put on high ground so I decided to climb the hill….and it’s a good thing I did because that’s where I found the Midgett Cemetery! At one time a wrought-iron fence guarded the cemetery but it was now trampled down by the cattle and some of the stones had been knocked over. The largest standing stone in the cemetery, of about 20 graves, was that of my great-great-grandfather, Hugh Mac Midgett (1828-1906). I got a bonus when I found his stone, for not only was he listed, but

two of his three wives! I still remember that day vividly. From 1980 until I got my first computer, everything I found was then handwritten into spiral notebooks and many letters were sent by mail. The highlight of each day was going to the mailbox to see if I had any replies to queries that I’d sent or to see if a newly purchased genealogy book or magazine had arrived. I later bought a genealogical software program where I could actually type in the data which was a big boost, and then in 1995 the Internet came into being. Boy, has that changed how personal records are kept! From some of those letters and a few long-distance calls, I soon discovered that the bulk of the Midgett’s had lived in Hyde, Currituck and Dare counties in North Carolina. That’s when I begged my husband to make a research trip to NC. The very first place we visited was the R.S. Spencer Store in Engelhard. Mr. Spencer was very helpful in my quest and offered suggestions of where I might look next. I also purchased several books that the Hyde Co. Genealogical Society had published and I use them to this day, even though some are frayed from constant use. I visited the Hyde Co. Courthouse where I met Merita Spencer,

Pam Sawyer, and Lora Byrd (recently retired Register of Deeds). These ladies were a God-send to a genealogy newcomer. I have since made other trips to Hyde, Currituck and Dare counties and have made many friends there, some of whom I correspond with via e-mail and phone almost weekly. The USGenWeb Project began in 1996, and the NCGenWeb project shortly thereafter, all with the goal of providing free access to genealogical resources online for everyone. John B. McGowan, who was born at Juniper Bay in Hyde Co., was asked to host the Hyde County GenWeb site in 1996 and I became his co-host in 1997. Our grasp of Internet technology wasn’t the best but together we worked on the site to bring free Hyde County genealogy to folks who lived all over the world and could not easily make a trip to that area. I guess I’m a little prejudiced but I think we have one of the best county sites in North Carolina, if not the United States! Begin performing your own family history. It is an opportunity for you to jump in and get your feet wet. This process may take time, but the work is extremely satisfying, as you will be gaining knowledge of

exactly what your family went through to give you the life you have today. Of course the fastest way to start putting together a family history is to contact your living relatives and compile all the basic name-and-date information you likely have spread amongst you. But what then? How do you go beyond names and dates, or fill in the missing pieces? Depending on how much you already know, how far into the past you want to explore, how detailed you'd like to get, and what you'd like to eventually do with the genealogical information you collect, there are a number of paths your family research could take. There are many places you can get started, but the best place may be to visit local libraries. Here you can find articles and many other archives which will assist in giving you the information you need. Courthouses are a great place to search for information. As you get into the researching process you will become more adapt at solving problems that will eventually arise. If you go back in time, you’ll find some “bluebloods” and you’ll probably even find some “horse thieves,” but knowing the connections, warts and all, that's part of your history! Christmas Gifts

Photo: Ingrid Lemme

December 13, 2009   Engelhard Christmas Parade “A Winter Wonderland" is the theme for the 2009 Engelhard Christmas Parade which begins at 5 PM on December 13th. Visits with Santa, Concessions, and a Tree Lighting are included    

December 22nd Holiday Light Tour The Hyde County Transit will offer a special gift to County residents - a tour of the wonderful Christmas lights in the county. Cookies and hot cocoa will also be served. Phone: 252-926-1637 Email:

Photo: Ingrid Lemme

September, 1934 Vol. 11, #9 Hyde County Messenger Fairfield Monthly Fairfield, North Carolina Published monthly by Rev. Elliot Rufus Stewart Abstracted by Kay Midgett Sheppard

Engelhard is a progressive town down by the sea inhabited by a group of merchants, farmers, fisherman, school teachers, preachers and other callings. It is now linked with the rest of the world with a Federal highway hard-surfaced road. The state highway is under binding contract to put another coat on the present basis of clay and gravel. Engelhard is a splendid fishing point, supplying fish and oysters all over the state and many up north states enjoy the seafood taken from her waters. She is located 24 miles from Swan Quarter and 27 miles from Stumpy Point. Engelhard has 3 warehouses, the only bank in Hyde County, 2 hotels, a shoe shop, 9 stores, 3 filling stations, 3 churches (Baptist, Methodist & Disciple). It is also headquarters for distribution of Standard and Texaco oil products. Engelhard has a population of around 600. Lake Landing Township has a population of about 2000 which visit and shop at her stores. The people are looking forward to having the town incorporated, charter having been applied for. It is also hoped that a new ice plant will soon be located here. A right of way is being worked on for telephone connections and electric lights. Watch this town take on new life with construction of her new road. Photo: Ingrid Lemme

Business of the Quarter Gibbs Enterprises A Historic Convenience Store and Gas Station in Engelhard, NC Hwy 264 34835 please enter!

In last month’s Swan Quarterly we featured this door and asked readers to email us what they think where the door is located: On Nov 2, 2009, at 6:27 PM, Miss Macy Sadler of Swan Quarter wrote: ....My dad’s guess is Gibbs Enterprises in Engelhard ... November 22, 2009 11:28:41 AM EST, Lisa Overby of Grimesland, NC wrote: The name of the business for the picture of the old doors is "Gibbs Enterprise"....... Thank ya’ll for your correct answer, Macy Sadler’s dad, Vernon Thomas Sadler, is the winner because the answer came 20 days earlier.

Photo:s Ingrid Lemme

Historic Gibbs Enterprises A feel-good Store! This is not your 'usual' store of your ‘usual’ gas station. Gas is still pumped by hand and the floor planks in the store you are stepping on are very old. It’s the kind of store where you always find a cup of coffee and someone to talk to and the people behind the counter smile. The stove in the back with the little bench next to it looks like an old barrel stove and seems to be working. The three guys at the stove meet there quite often and they talk about all what’s going on in Engelhard and Hyde County. I had promised this nice guy who painted Gibbs Enterprises to feature his business card with his photo but unfortunately I lost the card. So if you want to know who he is his, you have to ask Mr. Gibbs. How about giving someone a freshly painted room for Christmas? Photos: Ingrid Lemme


A FEW MINUTES WITH GOD BY DOUG GIBBS A Few Minutes With God is a collection of devotions that have been written for the Washington Daily News in Washington, North Carolina. Doug Gibbs is a minister and currently works with the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ in Fairfield, North Carolina. The devotions have been designed to help readers experience a quiet time with God. Doug Gibbs was born in 1956 and is a lifetime resident of Hyde County, North Carolina. He has served as an ordained minister of the Churches of Christ since 1984. Despite his cerebral palsy, he has found a meaningful and rewarding way to serve the Lord. It is his hope that these devotions will draw the readers closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Doug is a 1974 Graduate of Mattamuskeet High School in Hyde County. He is a 1976 Graduate of Beaufort County Community College in Washington, North Carolina, and a 1989 Graduate of MidAtlantic

University, formerly Roanoke Bible College in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Despite being born with cerebral palsy, Doug has overcome many obstacles to achieve success. He worked as a reporter for the Washington Daily News for over twenty years. He also served as the assistant to the Hyde County Manager for over ten years. He is grateful to his family, community, church and God for their support.

Binding: Paperback Publisher: Xulon Press Date Published: 2009 ISBN-13: 9781615793037 ISBN: 1615793038


Photo: Ingrid Lemme

TriCounty Telecom Directory 2010 will feature the Swan Quarter Landing marsh on cover! TriCounty Telecom features each of the three counties it serves, Beaufort, Hyde and Washington, on a rotating basis on the cover of the directory. The 133 year old Pantego Academy Historical Museum in Beaufort County, decorated for Christmas, graces the cover of the 2009 directory. The photograph was taken by Gordon Pippin of Bath.                       The upcoming 2010 telephone directory will feature a photo of the marsh land at Swan Quarter Landing (photo taken by Swan Quarterly's co-publisher Ingrid Lemme on Christmas Day 2008) announced Terry Raupe, Marketing and Media Relations Manager for TriCounty Telecom. Mrs. Lemme, of Swan Quarter, had submitted two photos last spring; the other photo featured the inside of the new Hyde County Court House.    The directory will come out toward the end of January. Delivery to non-cooperative members should begin the first or second week in February. TriCounty Telecom distributes over 27,000 directories to members of the telephone cooperative and residents of the three county area. If you need extra copies of the directory, please stop by the TriCounty Telecom business office located at 2193 NC 99 Highway South, just outside of Belhaven, or your local chamber of commerce office located at 20646 US Hwy 264, Swan Quarter, NC 27885.

Photo: Ingrid Lemme

Everyone can take some very basic actions to help stop the spread of flu. Wash your hands with soap and water. Cough and sneeze into your elbow or sleeve or into a tissue, not your hands. Stay home if you are sick. Get a seasonal flu shot now, and get vaccinated against H1N1. Everyone has a role in preventing the spread of flu.

Luana C. Gibbs, RN

Photo: Ingrid Lemme

Clerk Judy Midyette

Hyde Health’s H1N1

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease caused by viruses. There are several varieties of flu. Currently, North Carolina has both seasonal flu and H1N1 flu cases. Flu attacks a person’s nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza usually comes on suddenly and may include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and/or body aches. Most people who get flu recover in a week or two, but some people develop life-threatening complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of flu. Every year, between 1,000 and 2,000 people die of seasonal influenza and pneumonia in North Carolina. It is still early in the 2009

H1N1 outbreak; most people who have been ill have recovered or are recovering. Although H1N1 so far has been compared to regular seasonal flu, some people have become severely ill and there have been some deaths.

Laura Poole, RN

We were on the way to Belhaven and saw our Hyde Country nurses at the Ponzer Ruritan Club giving H1N1 vaccinations, We got our free shots and bought 5lbs of wonderful sausage. Luana C. Gibbs, RN

The Ponzer Ruritan Club's Sausage Day The next one will be January 16th!Â

Photo: Ingrid Lemme

Sausage Day at Ponzer

AgCarolina Financial awarded in 2008 $21,000 in grants to ten organizations through their corporategiving program for rural Eastern North Carolina. The Ponzer Ruritan Club received $2,000 to purchase equipment to make homemade sausage to raise money for community improvements. And we are sure glad that the organization that is doing so much good got the grant. The sausage we bought was out of this world! We had stopped on Hwy 264 in Ponzer on our way from Swan Quarter to Belhaven for our free H1N1 flue shots at the Ruritan Club and were lucky to get a 5 lbs bag without prior ordering.

Starting from the left: Tammy Blake, Frances House, Gary Martin (Tall male in back), Anita Clayton, June Wagner (pink Hat), Lisa Van Essendelft, Barbara Van Essendelft, Olivia Van Essendelft (hiding in back), Randy Clayton. Bud Clayton making the link sausage >>

Christmas on the Isthmus SGT. BALLANCE DESCRIBES A "CHRISTMAS ON THE ISTHMUS" - “This is a story about a Hyde Co. soldier, Sgt. Leon Gerald Ballance, that I found in our newspaper section http://  This was Christmas 1944.  Sadly, Leon passed away in 2003 at the age of 86.  You may read his obituary in our obits section.  http://  I have 2 photos of Leon, but both of them were taken when he was much older.  One is a small photo that has his wife Jean in it and the other is one that I took of him on one of my research trips to Hyde County. He and his wife were very gracious people who welcomed my father, daughter and I into their home in the early 90's.” - Kay M. Sheppard

From somewhere in the Caribbean area, December 31. A Christmas on the Isthmus. Different? Yes.  There were lighted Christmas trees and Christmas carols were sung and we all dreamed--dreamed of a white Christmas.     I was reminded, each time that I heard "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas", of last year's pre-Christmas days at Chanute Field, Illinois where the little village of Rantoul was blanketed in snow, yet inside the USO everything was warm and cheery and that song was a favorite with both orchestra and dancers.  Outside, in the night, could be seen the snowflakes as they continued to fall, thick and fast, making the blanket every thicker.  What a disappointment was in store for those of us who were sent to Sunny Texas ten days

before Christmas. This year, however, there was no such disappointment, for we had what we expected--a hot Christmas.     The seasons round of events began on the night of December 23 with a dance sponsored by the United Women's Service Organization that furnished the partiettes, of course.  Can you imagine dancing under the palm fronds instead of holly, cedar and mistletoe?  Or dancing where the ratio of boys to girls is about 4 to 1?  However, the palm leaves interwoven with the usual red and green decorations produced a very pleasing effect and naturally there were no girls sitting on the sidelines without a partner.  The dance was a success.     Then 'twas the night before Christmas when all through the barracks--all wasn't quiet.  Someone upstairs was singing "Silent Night". 

A coronet was sounding in the next barracks. Most of our squadron was out some place but two of us (Tar Heels) were trying to convince the first sergeant that there was no place like North Carolina or that it was better than Michigan, anyway.  No one seemed much concerned with the fact that it was the night before Christmas, though, possibly in the back of every mind were thoughts of merry ones in the past and eleven o'clock found most of us in bed.

Then came Christmas morning, the beginning of a lovely day, bathed in tropical sunshine, a challenge to the song birds that accepted it. There was the Christmas service in the new chapel at 9:30 and the story of the Christchild was again listened to and shared with men the world over.     Shortly, it was lunch time and after standing in line for 45 minutes, the turkey and its accessories, the mince pie, fruit cake, and the other Christmas eats were a welcome repast and we did it justice.     Then stretched ahead a long afternoon with nothing special to do.  After some debate, I began what turned out to be a pleasant journey.  A little curious as to what Christmas in Panama City was like, my steps strayed in that direction.  After several steps along the way I

landed at the Tivoli USO and from there began an aimless stroll up Central Avenue, taking in everything within sight or hearing. Occasionally I met a young drummer boy pounding on a toy drum or a young lass carrying a doll almost as large as she was and now and then I stopped to admire the Yuletide

display in some store window.    Soon I was pleasantly surprised when I met a very nice young lady whom I had had the pleasure of meeting and working with before.  We said "Hello", and she asked if I

wouldn't like to see inside the Catholic churches in the city at Christmas time. Naturally, I wished to, so we visited five that were nearby and I found them very beautiful indeed.  All of them had wonderful and interesting arrangements of the scene of the Christ-child's birth--the manger, the baby Jesus, Mary the mother, and the shepherds on the hills.  The young lady's explanations were also interesting and in very good English.  The tour ended and the day fast drawing to a close, I bade her a gracious goodbye and took a bus back to camp then to a movie and the end of another Christmas. 


Health in Motion Mobile Clinic

Free Health Screenings: Blood Pressure Cholesterol

Glucose HIV Testing

Hyde County Health Department 1151Main Street Friday, December 11, 2009 8:00- 5:00pm For Hyde County Health related Announcements Please check: For more information Contact: Keevin Askew, Outreach Coordinator Phone: (252) 332-6650

Gurneys Inn in Montauk, NY Tree Light Ceremony 2009 with Internationally celebrated singer Christina Fontanelli and Swan Quarterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ingrid Lemme <<<


















137 Bridgepath Road Swan Quarter, NC 27925



SQ-ly 12-2009  

Swan Quarterly Christmas issue, December 2009