It’s funny how history has a way of repeating itself. As Accountfully turns eleven at the beginning of 2023, we find ourselves going back to our roots, and in the new “old” office exactly seven years later–almost to the day. We have officially moved back in to 533 Rutledge Ave, Apt A in downtown Charleston. Not only is it cozy and feels like we’ve reunited with an old friend, it begs us to pay a little homage to its history alongside the company’s changes since we last worked together from 2016 on. Let’s take a step back in time together as we reminisce over the building’s unique history and how it will be part of our bright future.
Firstly, big thanks to Kevin Eberle, who did the extensive research on our location back in November of 2016 on Facebook, and where our detailed history notes are mostly pulled from. Commercial buildings are a bit harder to form lots of information from, as Kevin states, but this prominent business had a lot to share. Check out the timeline below, and read on to learn more about its unique history.
533 Rutledge began its (recorded) life selling for $250 in January of 1875 as Lot 12 of the Bernard Tract. It remained an empty lot as it transferred across numerous owners in the 40 or so years after. As Julia Albers, and her husband Ernest Hesse Sr. Hesse took ownership in 1912, it began to come alive as Park Pharmacy; a legacy and business that remained a main staple of the street for 60 years.
Julia’s son, Ernest C Hesse, Jr and his business partner C.D. Miller opened Park Pharmacy in the location, and announced it on October 2nd in the Evening Post. Park pharmacy carried on a 60 year legacy, operating until 1975. The partners were known around town as “Doc”, and manufactured a unique heat rash powder on site. Miller retired in 1958, but the legacy continued under the Hesse family.
In 1961, they leased the property to Reva Kalinsky and offered an option to buy the premises for $13,000. She followed through and purchased it in 1963. The pharmacy continued its business after the sale. In 1975, a newspaper clipping showed the building changing hands to Lucille S Randolph. Lucille had been operating a residential facility in the home next door at 535 Rutledge, known as Randolph’s.
In February of 1976 she was granted permission to operate the first floor as a house for the aged, with an apartment above. Later that year the porches were enclosed on both floors. Mrs. Randolph left the property to her children after her death in 1991.
Between 1999 and 2016 it changed hands across eight owners; many of them investment companies.
Accountfully partners and co founders, Brad and Meredith Ebenhoeh closed on the property in late January of 2016, exactly seven years prior to our move in date. The first time around, the office housed about 12 original employees of the company. Six of those twelve are still with us. Now a company of about 70 employees, with remote employees in every time zone, the way Accountfully operates is a bit different than 2016. A close knit in-person Charleston team still works together in the cozy, shared space, bringing life back to the original Accountfully headquarters.
The modern finishes and homeyness of the building are warm and welcoming. Even though the team is much larger, with many new faces present, it feels as though we never left. As Accountfully expands, it will serve as our permanent home for years to come. We are excited to create more memories with the building and can’t wait to see what another seven years will bring!