The first English child born in the New World, Virginia Dare, was born in what is now Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in 1587.
Tyrrell County, located in northeastern North Carolina, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally populated by indigenous tribes, including the Algonquian-speaking Roanokes and Chowanokes. European exploration and colonization began in the late 16th century when English explorers arrived in the region.

In the mid-17th century, a few colonists settled in present-day Tyrrell County, establishing small plantations and trading posts. The region became an important hub for trade and transportation due to its strategic location along the Albemarle Sound. Throughout the 18th century, the county's economy thrived on crops like corn, tobacco, and indigo, cultivated by enslaved African Americans.

During the American Revolution, Tyrrell County played a vital role, with many local residents joining the Patriot cause. However, the county's prominence diminished in the early 19th century as larger surrounding counties were formed. In 1870, Tyrrell County was officially established, named after Congressman John Tyrrell.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the county experienced economic shifts and challenges. The decline of agriculture led to a transition towards fishing, timber, and tourism industries. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and flooding, also posed significant hurdles for the area.

Today, Tyrrell County is known for its natural beauty, including the expansive Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and the Scuppernong River. The county's rich cultural heritage is celebrated through various festivals and events, which highlight its history, food, and music. Despite its small population, Tyrrell County continues to preserve its past while making strides towards economic development in the modern era.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Tyrrell County, North Carolina.

  • 1663: Tyrrell County is established as part of the Province of Carolina.
  • 1705: The town of Edenton is established as the county seat.
  • 1732: Chowan County is created from parts of Albemarle County, which included present-day Tyrrell County.
  • 1739: Tyrrell County is officially established, carved out of Chowan County.
  • 1759: The town of Columbia is established as the new county seat.
  • 1868: Columbia is incorporated as a town.
  • 1889: The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal is completed, boosting trade in the region.
  • 1899: The Great Fire of Columbia destroys much of the town, leading to a decline in population.
  • 1907: The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad line reaches Columbia, revitalizing the town's economy.
  • 1999: Hurricane Floyd causes severe flooding and devastation in Tyrrell County.