Located on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, the settlements of Lake Ainslie began in 1820 at the shores of and in the hills above the lake. The settlers were Scottish, Presbyterian immigrants from the Western Islands of Scotland. They came in the hope of finding free land and a better life. They were subsistence farmers, able to support themselves off the land. They pushed the forest back from the shore. They learned to withstand the weather. Sometime after 1871, the farms began to be less productive. Large families began to break up and leave in the last part of the 1800s. By the turn of the century, farms became less viable. In the 1950s, land began to be subdivided among families and sold to others. The change in land use brought new people of other cultures who brought with them their skills, talents and traditions. A sense of community exists and remains strong.