The narrative of the European settlement of Earltown District starts with two men arriving in the unbroken forest in the summer of 1813. Historian George Patterson in his “History of the County of Pictou” credits Angus Sutherland and Donald MacIntosh as the first settlers. We tend to imagine a lengthy treck into the forest and carving a clearing in isolation.
However both gentlemen took lots along the Pictou – Colchester border. On the Pictou side, a growing settlement had been in progress for four years. Sutherlandshire and Ross-shire Scots moved into the West Branch area starting in 1809 and were approaching Colchester by 1813. Consequently the eastern portion of Earltown was initially an extention of West Branch.
Angus Sutherland was known as the “Prince”. His facial features reminded people of paintings of Bonnie Prince Charlie. He came to Scotsburn as the eight year old son of John and Catherine Sutherland in 1801. They were among a number of families that arrived in Pictou from Rogart that year and settled as a group west of Scotsburn. Angus witnessed his father’s toil in establishing a homestead in the forest and thus was an experienced homesteader when he arrived on his grant in the community that would eventually be called Clydesdale. The grant was actually granted in the name of his father John. It was located on the Clydesdale road about 1/2 kilometer east of the junction of the Stewart and Clydesdale Roads. The first schoolhouse in the area was on part of this grant. Angus’ co-founder, Donald MacIntosh, lived to the north at the junction of the roads.
After building a log home and clearing some land, Angus returned to Scotsburn to marry Annie MacIntosh. Annie or Nancy was also a native of Rogart who came to Scotsburn in 1801 with her parents, William MacIntosh and Christy Murray.
Angus and Nancy had eight children. The Sutherland Prince male line is no longer but there are many descendants to their daughters.
Nancy died in 1848 at the age of 47. Angus died in 1872 at the age of 82. They were buried in Scotsburn.