Hyder was originally named Portland City by the unlucky group stranded there by an unscrupulous promoter. He had lured them north with promises of gold and then left them in what was once the most desolate area in Alaska. The name was changed in 1914 to Hyder to honor geologist, F.B. Hyder. Hyder has always had a boom bust economy, and the local residents are philosophical because when it is good, it is very good.