Grover Hills: Moriah’s Own “Levittown”
During World War II, with increased demand for iron, Republic Steel faced the problem of providing housing for an anticipated 1,200 new miners and their families. State and federal officials decided that constructing a federal housing project would provide the solution. The site chosen was located between Moriah Center and Mineville, allowing workers easy access to the Mineville mines, Fisher Hill mines, and the #7 sintering mill. This new community was called Grover Hills and consisted of multi-family, single-floor units. A total of 316 units in all were built, but only 95 were ever occupied. At the end of the war, the government tore down two complete streets.
The development was named after US Marine-PVT Oscar J. Grover, Jr. Killed in action on August 8, 1942 at Guadalcanal, he was the first serviceman from Moriah to die in action during World War II. The Grover Hills development is one of four planned communities in the United States and Puerto Rico that bear the name and stamp of William Levitt and his company Levitt & Sons. The original Levittown was built on Long Island and remains a hamlet today. It was built to accommodate veterans returning from the War who wanted an alternative to the crowded and hectic conditions in cities and their many apartment buildings. These houses were practically identical and meant to offer returning servicemen low-rent homes, not apartments. This was a rural suburb, offering picket fences, plenty of grass, and all of the modern amenities that were the hallmark of post-war prosperity.