George Arthur Brown was born in Canada on December 6, 1841 to Joseph and Ann (Arbor) Brown. He began his long career with Great Lakes vessels as a deck hand when he was age sixteen. At age twenty one, he was made mate on a ship that operated out of Detroit. In the early 1860’s, Mr. Brown was appointed captain of the J.O. Moss, a ship owned and operated by the Gilcher & Shuck Lumber Company. Captain Brown was connected with several ships throughout his lengthy career. For a time he owned and operated the Champion, a ship that carried lumber. For thirty two years, Captain Brown was on the route between Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands. He was captain of the steamers Jay Cooke, the City of Sandusky, and the Arrow.
An article in the December 22, 1910 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that Captain Brown “was known by practically every islander and many people from different parts of the United States, who acquaintance he made during the summer seasons…He was a personal friend of Grover Cleveland and many other notables. During all his experience as a lake captain he never met with a serious mishap.” After a lengthy illness, Capt. George A. Brown passed away at Providence Hospital, on December 21, 1910. He was survived by his wife, a son, daughter, and several siblings. The funeral for Captain George A. Brown was held on the day after Christmas in 1910 at the Masonic Temple. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery. Captain Brown was involved in many aspects of life on the Great Lakes. He transported mail, goods, as well as hundreds of individuals to a variety of locations in the Lake Erie Islands.