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The Story of the First Island Son
and the 3 Captains Cottage

The first child of the island’s original settlers was Daniel Vroman. No doctor was on the island when Daniel’s mother Amelia was ready to give birth that winter of 1848, so Daniel’s father Philip donned ice skates to pull Daniel’s mother inside a fish shanty to Sandusky. Daniel was the first son of the island. As an adult Daniel built this house in 1885.

Three boat captains have lived in this house. Daniel was the first, captaining a fleet of fishing boats. Daniel’s son, Bertrand, was the second captain to live here. But Bertrand only lived to age 33 because he caught tuberculosis while caring for sick steamship passengers. When none of his crew would risk exposure, Captain Bertrand Vroman went below decks to help the ill.


After 60 years of Vroman ownership, Captain Bruce Duggan bought this house. Bruce captained the William M. Miller, which was the flagship of the Miller Boat Line fleet. To learn more about the islands history visit our Lake Erie Islands Historical Society.

To learn more about island life check out Humankind in the Put-in-Bay Gazette