Piet Retief Street, Sutherland
Piet Retief Street, Sutherland

History of Sutherland

Sutherland was established on the farm De List in 1858 and was proclaimed a municipality in 1884. The town was named after a certain Dominee Sutherland, a Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church.

A local legend has it that the original owner of the De List farm was reduced to drunkenness to overcome his reticence to sell the farm to the Church as every prior attempt to persuade him to sell had failed.

The excellent water supply and slightly protected aspect of the farm located in the hollow of hills made it attractive as a site to establish a Parish for the Dutch Reformed Church to serve the needs of the far-flung community of the Roggeveld Plateau.

On discovering that he had been tricked by the Church into selling the farm he cursed the future of the new town with the words “everything here is cursed, nothing will be established here.” Fortunately his curse did not come to pass and Sutherland today is a pleasant, Karoo town serving a far-flung community in the cool crisp air of the Roggeveld plateau.