History of Hargrove

Legendary Service and Experience

As one of the top general contractors in the U.S., Hargrove is a nationally renowned company focused on personalized service, extraordinary creativity and a commitment to our clients’ success

Hargrove Today

Carla Hargrove McGill, President and Tim McGill, CEO became the third generation to lead Hargrove in 2008. Since then, Carla and Tim  have steadily expanded the company through investments in infrastructure, sales and marketing efforts, technology solutions and national expansion.

Three Generations of Leadership 

Earl Hargrove, Jr., the company’s founder, with Tim McGill and Carla Hargrove McGill.

Company founded after WWII

Earl Hargrove, Jr. began his career as a store window dresser, and he started the company with his father in 1946 after World War II. Earl and his father set out as event pioneers who were able to foresee a future industry few others could. Images: Original Hargrove headquarters with both Mr. Hargrove and his father in front.

Relied Upon Event Partner

Mr. Hargrove quickly became a Washington, DC event force regularly called upon by the White House, federal and state agencies, political parties, corporate leaders and prestigious event organizations. Images: Earl Hargrove, Jr. decorates National Christmas Tree (as the company has since 1954).

President's Prop Man

In the early days, Mr. Hargrove earned the moniker of “the President’s prop man” after his company staged its first inaugural event in 1949 for President Truman. Hargrove has been a significant supplier to every inaugural since then. Image: horse drawn parade float for the Truman Inaugural.

Talented Artisans and Craftsmen

The Hargrove team has always included a large team of talented artisans and craftsmen. Image: Hargrove sign shop with painters creating circus backdrop in the 1970s.

Renowned Personal Collection

A portion of Mr. Hargrove's extraordinary personal collection is on view at the Hargrove headquarters. The collection includes items that represent American celebrations, Mr. Hargrove's experiences and the thousands of people he has met. Image: Mr. Hargrove in his office filled with some of his collection.

Refurbished Vehicles 

On display at Hargrove headquarters are a variety of completely refurbished vehicles including a 1955 Cadillac El Dorado,1926 Mack fire truck,1960 Beardmore London taxi cab,1955 Century Coronado and a 1890s Brewster Coach. The vehicles were all painstakingly refurbished by the Hargrove team. The vehicle collection began because the team originally sought the parts of carriages to utilize in parade floats.

Start of Trade Show Division

Hargrove expanded in the 1970s to include a Trade Show Division and today is the third largest general services contractor in the U.S. Image: Lounge area of the American Society of Association Executive's Springtime expo which Hargrove has produced for close to four decades.

Expansion to Custom Exhibits

Building on its knowledge and experience in special events and trade show contracting, Hargrove expanded again in 1977 to establish an Exhibits Division, which currently works closely with the museum exhibits industry, convention and visitors industry and a variety of corporate and associations on their exhibit programs. Image: Revealing Culture, Smithsonian