FARMINGTON–The 1880 Walter Grover home located at 630 N. Main Street in Farmington has recently been updated with three additional offices and a common work area. The landmark was recognized by the Farmington City Historic Preservation Commission in 2014 as a historically significant building for its contribution to the history of the city’s unique architectural heritage. The Grover home is one of several stone structures still standing that were built during Farmington’s founding period using the plentiful field and foothill rock of the area. Listed on the Farmington Historic Landmarks Register, the building was fully restored in 2008 by its current owner, Bob Aamodt, owner and financial adviser with Rock House Financial.
The historic structure is now the site of Rock House Financial, a Utah-based company that provides comprehensive wealth management services for families and small business owners. Securities and Advisory Services offered through United Planners Financial Services, Member FINRA/SIPC. Rock House Financial and United Planners are not affiliated. They will open the building for public viewing on Friday, April 20, from 2 to 6 p.m.
The home was built in 1880 by Walter Grover as a gift for his mother, Elizabeth Walker Grover, a Mormon handcart pioneer who emigrated from England to Utah in 1856. Walter, Elizabeth’s eldest child, was just 19 years old when he started and finished the construction of the small two-room house. Building the home finally gave his mother — the sixth plural wife of Thomas Grover — a permanent residence for her and her four children. Walter received consent from his father, Thomas Grover, to build the home on the east end of the family farm. The farm was located on a plot of ground, which based on the earliest 1875 Davis County records, was originally surveyed by Daniel W. Miller, one of Farmington’s early settlers.
Walter began the building of the home by chopping logs in the Farmington canyons and hauling them by oxen team to a Farmington sawmill. There they were made into lumber for all the heavy beams and floors. Walter hauled rock from the foothills for the walls, and sand and clay from the shores of the Great Salt Lake west of Centerville. This clay and very fine sand made the mortar to lay the rock. A stonemason was hired to lay the rock walls, which were built two-feet thick — a necessary insulating technique used at the time against cold and heat, due to the very poor shielding properties of stone. Walter did all of the shingling himself and most of the carpentry.
The preservation of the home as part of Farmington’s historical tradition was something personally important for Bob Aamodt, a Farmington native. “I love the history and heritage of Farmington — my great, great grandfather, Leonard Gurley Rice, helped settle Farmington. I saw this structure as a great opportunity to preserve a part of this town’s wonderful pioneer legacy.”
Farmington City has noted that the historical heritage of the city is among its most valued assets. The continued careful maintenance of the Walter Grover home as a historic landmark will help preserve and protect it as one of Farmington’s important architectural sites and maintain the historic heritage of the community.