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Humbert Oliva had a dream of one day coming to America to discover the opportunities available.  At the age of only eighteen his dream became a reality.  A hard worker with characteristic determination, he emigrated from Italy and settled in the nation's capitol of Washington D.C. where he learned  the ceramic tile and marble trade.  In the mid 1920's Humbert journeyed south to Richmond, Virginia to pursue work.  While in Richmond, he met another tile setter, Mr. C. F. Lazzuri, and together they established the firm of Oliva and Lazzuri, Inc. in 1946.

Richard A. "Buster" Oliva , Humbert's son, joined his father in the business in June of 1949 learning the trade as a tile setter for numerous locations around the Richmond area and at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.  When the company decided to open a branch in Charlottesville, Buster agreed to become its director and moved his family to this historic city in 1955.  Buster bought the branch in 1978 and renamed the firm Richard A. Oliva & Sons, Inc. where its headquarters are located at 606 Tenth Street NW in Charlottesville.

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The legacy lives on...  
 Through the years, Richard A Oliva & Sons, Inc. has supplied ceramic tile and marble work for a number of well-known Charlottesville and Albemarle County businesses including the expansion of the old Daily-Progress newspaper building on Market Street and the old Citizens Bank on Main Street.  The firm provided the tile and stone for the original Boar's Head Inn, was involved in the Farmington Country Club restoration and recently helped with the restoration of the terrace at the University of Virginia Rotunda.  In addition, the company has provided tile and terrazzo for many public schools in the area.
     Today, Buster's sons, Michael, John and Donald, represent a third generation of Oliva craftmanship in Virginia.  Buster continues his role as president of the company while Michael serves as vice president/director, John as secretary/director and Donald as its director.  Buster's wife, Peggy, and daughter, Debbie, have also contributed to the success of the business over the years.

Well-known for his skill, workmanship and honesty in the field, Buster was honored in 1976 to serve as "a committee of one" in selecting an appropriate stone on which to display a Daughters of the American Revolution plaque at the Albemarle County Courthouse.  He located the pyramid-shaped rock on Monticello Mountain and transported it to the site.
Commenting on the company's achievements in Charlottesville over the past half-century, he says,"Our business is an art and we take pride that all of our people are trained here.  Our goal remains to continue training highly skilled workmen who will be a credit to the profession and to maintain the high quality of workmanship and service established by our founder."