Alexander Wedderburne / Lord Loughborough
In January 1775, Alexander Wedderburne, Lord Loughborough, was granted 20,000 acres on Maxton Creek (today the Ortega River), about four miles west of the Cowford, adjoining Laidler on the north and Maxton Creek on the south. The property was heavily forested, mainly in yellow pine, with three small but navigable intersecting creeks known today as Fishing Creek, Butcher Pen Creek, and Williamson Creek. From the river, this property ran approximately eight miles to the west. The man that ran the survey wrote on the map he sent to Wedderburne: "this tract appears to be entirely scrubby oak and pine land--of course can be only valuable on account of the pine trees for lumber and naval stores."Wedderburne acquired the property to settle it, not to speculate. He even purchased a house and lot in St. Augustine for his plantation agent, stating that it was his intention to "make an immediate settlement thereupon and improve it with every practical improvement." Because of rebellious activities in the colonies north of East Florida, however, he was advised by Governor Tonyn to delay planting activities until peace was restored. When the war ended Wedderburne commenced development but was only able to build two houses and clear a few acres before the province was ceded.
Lord Loughborough's 20,000-acre tract was located across from Ortega Island, shown here at the confluence of Fishweir Creek and the Ortega and St. Johns Rivers.
Plat Map of Alexander Wedderburne