In the early 19th century, Lord MacDonald created a township of 40 small crofts: 2 to 3 acres (12,000 m2) on average. The hill grazing was less than a tenth of the size of most other Sleat townships, with many more crofters. It is thought that the crofts were deliberately made too small to live on, forcing the crofters to fish during the herring boom.
Isle Ornsay harbour was one of the most promising harbours in the whole of Skye, for a time the main connection to the mainland. Isle Ornsay post office, situated where the estate office now is, was the main post office for the whole of Sleat.
Isle Ornsay harbour saw the departure of emigration ships. The William Nichol, a government emigration ship left on 6 July 1837, bound for Australia as part of "Langs" Bounty Scheme. Conditions on the voyage were poor, with the deaths of 19 children and 2 adults from a manifest of over 300. The Sillery departed on 7 September 1853 for Canada, including 332 people from Knoydart and the Glengary estates, who had been cleared to make way for sheep. Houses were burnt and levelled to the ground. Four young men from Inverguseran 'escaped' over the hills to Lochaber.
Camuscross Community Initiative
Camuscross Community Steering Group was set up in February 2007 to develop various projects for community benefits. It is working on affordable house sites, a network of heritage paths with interpretation, and hoping to build a local shop and cafe. The group has been researching local history and has collected a number of place names from local people. It publishes a newsletter called An Lianag – after the name of the green in the middle of the village, which is where the crofters traditionally met to discuss township matters.
The Steering Group organise the Camuscross Crofting Olympics, an afternoon of serious and not-so-serious competitions in August.
It became a community company, becoming incorporated on 22 December 2008, with the name of Camuscross Community Initiative. When the company decided to add the neighbouring crofting township to its area of benefit, it became Camuscross & Duisdale Initiative.
- "Local history". Camuscross Community Steering Group. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
- "Port Macquarie Pioneers". Kaye MacMillan. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
- "Extracts From the Immigration Report of 1853". Immigrants to Canada. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
- A. R. Wallace. "IV: Landlordism and its Results in Scotland". Land Nationalisation. p. 63. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
- "Camuscross Community Initiative". Camuscross Community Steering Group. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- "Place names of Camuscross". Scotland’s Rural Past. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- "Camuscross "Crofting Olympics" attract strong support from the community". West Highland Free Press. Retrieved 11 December 2009.[permanent dead link]
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