About

ABOUT HUGHES EVENT RENTALS

Conveniently located just two miles from I-526 (exit 23, Clements Ferry Road) in Charleston, South Carolina, Hughes Event Rentals specializes in tents, tables, linens, chairs, and a unique collection of specialty items from arbors and white wooden benches to cotton candy and snow cone machines. (Fun!)

OUR HISTORY (and other tidbits)

The Hughes family of businesses cultivated deep roots in the Lowcountry for three generations, beginning with Hughes Lumber and True Value Store located in downtown Charleston.

1888:  An Irishman named Thomas Hughes purchased the assets of Elmore Martin’s Brick Yard, located at 82 Mary Street and commenced business as the Hughes Company, selling lumber and building supplies. In September of that same year, another entrepreneur, George Eastman, is granted a US patent for his roll film camera, for which he registers the trademark, Kodak.

1904:  While US Army Engineers began work on the Panama Canal, H.Cameron (“H.C.”) Burn, Sr. began work at the Hughes Company. Burn became a great asset to Mr. Hughes and was quickly promoted; his future would change dramatically in just a few years.

1910:  Mr. Hughes was known as the greatest property holder in Charleston County and chose to sell his lucrative lumber business in downtown Charleston to H.C. and his brother, Ernest P. Burn for $3,000, or about $90,000 in today’s market.

1947:  H.C. became ill and his son; H. Cameron Burn Jr. stepped up to lead Hughes through the turbulent post war period. Much of the nation was transfixed as Jackie Robinson took to the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.

1957:  As the Soviet Union was launching the earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik-1, Hughes Company was expanding and became Hughes Lumber and Building Supply Company.

1971: Walt Disney opened Disney World in Orlando, FL as Hughes was joining the American Hardware cooperative; subsequently becoming the leading ServiStar outlet in Charleston.

1983:  Cameron, Jr.’s sons, John and Edward Burn, joined the family business, becoming the 3rd generation of the Burn family to proudly serve the Charleston community. 1983 also marked the year Hughes Equipment Rental was created and the second space shuttle, Challenger, made its successful maiden voyage.

1997:  John Burn added tents, tables, and chairs to the rental business portfolio, adopted the new name, Hughes Equipment and Party Rental, and relocated to the current Mt. Pleasant location. Meanwhile, Madeleine Albright became the first female Secretary of State for the first time in United States history.

2018:  Steve Wilson and his son, Austin, founders of A-Z Equipment Rentals in Wilmington, NC, purchased Hughes Equipment and Party Rental to expand their family business into the Charleston market. On the other side of the pond, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot.

2022:  Mason Cardwell, Orlando, FL native and Mt. Pleasant resident, acquires the party rental portion of the business from the Wilson family and rebrands the 25-year-old company as Hughes Event Rentals, specializing in tents, tables, linens, chairs, and specialty items.

And here we are today!

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