Colonel Charles Herbert Consolvo
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Location: Consolvo Mausoleum Located at F Block 10
Colonel Charles Herbert Consolvo was the owner-operator of the Monticello Hotel in Norfolk as well as the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.
Colonel Consolvo’s military title was earned early in the century when he was quartermaster general of the Virginia Volunteers (militia), which is now the Virginia National Guard. Later, in 1913, he was appointed a “colonel” on the staff of Gov. Adolphe O. Everhard, of Minnesota, and was the first person from out state to receive such an honor.
Consolvo’s colorful business career began at the age of 15 when he ran away from home to join a circus. While his circus career lasted only a few weeks during which time he apprenticed as an acrobat, he always had a fondness for circuses and circus performers often stayed at one of his hotels while in the area. He frequently attended the circus performances and often brought local children, usually from some local institution, to enjoy the fun. Among his business dealings he had a substantial financial interest in the Cole Brothers Circus.
Once Consolvo returned from the circus, he began a series of business activities, starting with delivering ice then coal for the George W. Taylor Coal and Ice Company. He soon became the company’s bookkeeper, then manager.
In 1896, he joined with his close friend, E. C. Cheshire in acquiring the Norfolk Steam Laundry. As a side line, the company operated its own plant to produce flyers and advertisements. Soon this became the company’s main line of business which continued at the time of his death in the outdoor advertising firm that bore his name.
Colonel Consolvo’s hotel career began in 1903 when he leased and later bought the Monticello Hotel from Svlvanus Stokes. He bought the Belvedere Hotel in Richmond in 1917 and the Jefferson Hotel in 1921. Consolvo sold the Belvedere in 1936 but continued to operate the Jefferson Hotel until his death. The Monicello Hotel was badly damaged by fire in 1918, but was rebuilt.
The Colonel maintained friendships with dignitaries from around the world, many of whom were guests at one of his hotels including Queen Marie of Romania and General Foch, the French World War I commander-in-chief. He also hosted Presidents William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, as well as entertainers such as Buffalo Bill Cody.
Virginian-Pilot “Death Claims Colonel Consolvo, Friend of Great and Proletariat,” Oct. 25, 1947.
Community Builders of Norfolk, Norfolk, Va., 1942, p. 63. (source of photograph)
Profile written by Michael Frost, Norfolk Society of Cemetery Conservation volunteer
Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Office hours: Monday to Sunday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Free parking inside cemetery.
Admission Cost: Free
Address: 8100 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23505
Official web site for more information: www.norfolk.gov/cemeteries
Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: www.norfolksocietyforcemeteryconservation.org