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Grover House, 930 West Front Street, Middletown, New Jersey

NMHA's Headquarters and Planned Future Grover House Activity center for Boat Building and other activities.

About Grover House

1664-1665: Settlement of the Eastern Shore of New Jersey Commences

The "land rush" to settle New Jersey started with the first English Governor of New Amsterdam, Richard Nicolls, who changed the name of New Amsterdam to New York and issued a Proclamation in the fall of 1664 to encourage settlers, both Dutch and English, to sail to New Jersey and buy land from the local Indian chiefs.  More information on early Middletown Township area settlements HERE.

Circa 1730: Grover House, An Excellent and Rare Example of an early Monmouth County farmhouse.

On April 8, 1665, James Grover (who had emigrated from England and settled in Gravesend, Brooklyn), became one of the original Monmouth County Patentees in New Jersey when he received lot #16 in Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

His descendant, also James Grover, built the 2-story Grover House in circa 1730. This, the oldest part of the current house, was built using Dutch framing techniques, and was clad in round-butt shingles, an early local building tradition. It was enlarged around 1820-1840 in keeping with the original construction method and style. Grover House is a significant example of the few remaining early farmhouses left in Monmouth County.

Deborah V GroverJames Grover

James and Deborah V. Grover

The house remained in the Grover family until the death of the last descendant, Anna Lum, in 1983, and is now owned by Middletown Township. The house sits on a new foundation with a deep basement at its third and final location on West Front Street, Middletown (mailing address is Red Bank). It was built as the farmhouse fo the Grover family and was located at what is now Exit 109 of the Garden State Parkway. It was relocated to Lincroft and finally (?) to its current location at 930 West Front Street.  The house has a new traditional roof, but requires extensive outside and inside renovation to make it habitable. 

2014: Headquarters and Activity Center for Navesink Maritime Heritage Association

In 2014, Middletown Township, the owners of Grover House, granted a 10-year lease to Navesink Maritime Heritage Association to use as its Headquarters for all of its maritime and historical programs and activities. Since 2014, in cooperation with Middletown Township, NMHA has made extensive improvements to the property both inside and out. 

2015-2017: First Improvements

The first improvements related where to repair/replace the ADA ramp and Bilco-style doors to the basement. The shutters were removed and stored prior to power washing and repainting of the exterior of the house. In 2015 gas, water, electric, and sanitary service were connected into the basement. During the winter of 2016 a furnace and forced air ducts were installed to serve the basement and the first floor. Three Eagle Scout projects were also completed, including the Grover House/Navesink Maritime Heritage Association and garden sign (see right); benches for the porch;  and a garden and walkway at the side of the house.

The Facility sees regular use with its excellent basement storage and fair weather porch and outdoor meetings and BBQ's. The yard serves as the winter storage yard for our boats. This approach takes time, but slow and steady wins the race. 

2018 to 2020: Renovation of the First Floor

Restoring or renovating a historic home is far from a trivial task. In case the home will also serve as an activity center and organization home base. NMHA developed the following approach:

  • ADA compliance as far as possible.
  • Community input design and fun volunteer work parties.
  • Absolutely most efficient cost approach that meant volunteers doing all the work except where licensed professionals were required.  

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Copyright © Navesink Maritime Heritage Association

Navesink Maritime Heritage Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging Eastern Monmouth County with maritime and water related historical, skill building, environmental, and recreational activities, and encouraging responsible use of the Navesink estuary through its Discover, Engage, and Sustain approach

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