Feds sue Michigan man over Belle Isle, Maine lighthouse lenses

Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse on Belle Isle
Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse on Belle Isle

DETROIT (WLNS) – The U.S. Justice Department has sued a Livingston County man over the two lighthouse lenses worth an estimated $600,000.

The lenses in question disappeared from lighthouses on Belle Isle and in Portland, Maine, many years ago, and were previously thought to be lost.

The Detroit News reports that the legal battle pitting the U.S. Coast Guard against antique hunter Steven Gronow has the potential to restore a valuable piece of Detroit history to Belle Isle.

Members of the lighthouse community, however, suggest the Justice Department is picking on a preservationist who has saved rare treasures that were once treated like trash by the government after it switched from manually operated lighthouses to automated beacons.

Federal court records and interviews describe a decades-long hunt and a wealthy man whose hobby is finding maritime antiques, occasionally in war zones.

Gronow has declined to say whether or not he still has lenses.


We welcome thoughts and comments from our viewers. We ask that everyone keep their remarks civil and respectful. Postings that contain profanity, racist, or potentially libelous remarks will be deleted. We will delete any commercial postings, as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s