Drayton Island, during the steamboat period on the St. Johns River, was a scheduled stop for tourists and boasted a hotel built in 1875 that burned in 1878. A small subdivision was established and several homes that still exist were built. During the Plantation slavery period, prior to 1865, cotton and other export crops were grown on the island. Between freezes, orange groves produced prize fruit that brought a premium price in northern markets. The Archaic Indian Mounds, on the north end of the island are owned by The Archaeology Conservancy, Albuquerque, NM. The St. Johns River is navigable from Sanford, Florida to Jacksonville, Florida. Lake George is about 85 miles (137 km) south of Jacksonville. The lake is 11 miles (18 km) long and about 7 miles (11 km) wide. Drayton Island is 1,700 acres (690 hectares) situated in the north end of the lake. Hog Island, a smaller island is west of Drayton Island.
The island was developed as a plantation when William Drayton Sr, a migrant from South Carolina, bought it along with other properties in Florida. It was named after him. He served as chief justice of the Province of East Florida during colonial years and the American Revolution (1765-1780).
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- "Drayton Island". University of North Florida. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- Bull, Roger (October 9, 2001). "Our River comes home". Florida Times-Union. Jacksonville, FL. Retrieved 2012-08-31.