42 Meeting Street A History

From 1860 to 1956, this building served as a grocery store and was a retail landmark in Charleston for nearly a century. The store was founded in 1860 by Diedrich William Ohlandt, who came to this country from Hanover, Germany.

A View of 42 Meeting from the Street

The store imported its own black and green teas from the Orient, and blended them into Ohlandt’s own brand. Another specialty of the store was a blend of pure Mocha and Java coffee. Many locals say they can still remember the aromas of the roasting beans.

The store also carried such Lowcountry delicacies as tiny pickled shrimp and cabbage-heart pickles, long before these items became known to the general grocery trade.

Front Entrance

The most famous asset of Ohlandt’s store was its customer service and delivery. A clerk would go by horse and buggy each morning to a customer’s house, take orders for the day, and return their groceries later in the evening. Mr. Ohlandt kept keys to most of his customer’s houses so that he could easy deliver groceries, even when no one was home. In the summer months, when many families moved to the cooler mountains or their beach houses, Mr. Ohlandt paid the servants and charged the payment to the homeowner’s store account.

Office and Elevator on First Floor

The vestibule and office were created by removing the powder room under the stairway, as well as removing the mechanics and laundry room from the current office area. The elevator is programmed to park upstairs while not in use.

Kitchen and Living Room

The rear wall of the original building ran across the room above. You can see where the old wall would have been, along the beam that now ends at the range exhaust hood (pictured above). Behind this wall was a storage room that was later incorporated into the kitchen.



All information above was provided by the current homeowners and the Preservation Society of Charleston. This home was featured in the latter’s  “Charleston’s Cosmopolitan Legacy” tour.

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