In 1872, Malolo Lailai was sold to John Thomson by Ratu Kini, a Nadroga Chief. Malolo Lailai being uninhabited, was purchased to plant cotton, which was in shortage.
John Thomson died in 1876 and Malolo Lailai was sold to Louis Armstrong, an American. Armstrong died bankrupt and the island was transferred to the Mortgage Agency of Australasia Ltd, who sold and transferred the island to James Borron in November 1891. James Borron, who owned and ran several plantations throughout Fiji, leased Malolo Lailai to a Chinese family by the name of Wongket for 70 years to plant and harvest copra, a lucrative commodity during the late 1800’s and 1900’s. However in the early 60’s with the Wongket’s agreement to cut short the lease it was sold to three owners, Richard Smith, Regge Raffe & Sir Ian MacFarlane. The three then renamed Malolo Lailai as Leeward Island in the late 60’s. In the early 1970’s the three gentlemen decided to part ways and individually manage their portion of the island. By then the airstrip was built which ran as a boundary and divided the now Plantation Island Resort and Musket Cove Resort. In 1969 Plantation Village Resort opened with six(6) rooms now known as Plantation Island Resort.
Richard (Dick) Smith started building on Musket Cove, which was then casually known as Dick’s Place and on the 03rd of October 1976, Musket Cove Island Resort was born. The resort opened with twelve Bures. Prior to opening Musket Cove, the Smith’s built, owned and later sold Fiji’s first island resort, Castaway, an icon in Fiji tourism. Musket Cove proudly stands as Fiji’s Oldest Resort Company boasting a diverse range of Accommodation choices with 55 Bures and Villas, Private Homes/Villas residential development, Marina, a purpose built day Spa, fully Licensed Bar & restaurant.In the year 2000, Sir Ian MacFarlane sold his share of Malolo Lailai to the remaining two partners resulting in Musket Coves 400 hundred acres directly to the north of the airstrip, which has been put to use for the organic farm and the continuation of the coconut plantation to supply the resort. Musket Cove today is an entirely Fijian owned and operated company that employs over 120 staff to run the resort and the islands facilities.