Recently, like many of you, I attended Main Street Enid’s “Enid Lights Up the Plains.”  It was there, that I was greeted by James Neal.  We shook hands and introduced ourselves to one another.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I knew who James Neal was and James sort of knew who I was.  James is a writer for the Enid News & Eagle.  When I introduced myself, I actually got to see the cogs turning in Mr. Neal’s head as he figured out who I was.  It was humorous in a sense, because unlike other writers (not counting Robert Barron), Mr. Neal didn’t turn his nose up at me.  He didn’t pull out a tranquilizer dart to knock me out.  He didn’t insult me.

In fact, he smiled.  Shook my hand even longer.  He told me about this new business venture his wife, Tammy and him were embarking on.  They were opening a bed and breakfast locally.  He handed me a brochure.  It was for a place called “Southard House Bed and Breakfast Inn.”   Normally, B&B’s don’t intrigue me, but there was something about this that piqued my interest.  Although, I wasn’t sure why.  I asked him if he would be interested in letting me do a piece on it.  Understand that this was actually a tough question for me to ask him.  He writes for them.  The Eagle.  And honestly, I didn’t want to write a piece and have him get in trouble for it.  After some discussion with his wife, we set a date and time.

I pulled up to a large house in the 500 block of West Pine.  I knew that area fairly well, having nearly grown up at my grandma’s house a few blocks over.  Instant nostalgia.  James and Tammy greeted me at the door cheerfully.  At this point, I walked into what was a house full of absolutely beautiful woodwork.  I was taken by it.  To my left, a large sitting room with a very old piano.  To my left a dining room, with a table that could seat TWO Brady Bunch families.  They showed me the modern kitchen and talked of all the improvements that were to come.

Upstairs is where I fell even more in love with the Southard House.   Spacious rooms (soon to be suites), with old style claw feet tubs.  You know the ones.  The DEEP ones.  From one,  you had a perfect unobstructed view of downtown.

The Southard House is 100 years old this year.  It was built by Mr. George “Frank” Southard in 1912.  Mr. Southard was well known gentleman who worked around the world for Standard Oil.  He later relocated to Oklahoma and established Independence Gypsum Company and founded a town in Blaine County that bears his name.  He, of course, later sold the gypsum company to US Gypsum, which is still in operation.

While the bed and breakfast itself is not quite ready to accommodate visitors, once open it will be the premier bed and breakfast inn that Enid has to offer.  I have been offered the opportunity to return when they are ready to open the facility to see it all made over by Tammy who is handling the interior decorating.  I can say this with ease, she has an easy task because the interior of the home is so beautiful already.

The Southard House practically was begging for someone to find it and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast Inn.  The Neals have answered the Southard House’s call as if it was meant to be.  They will serve Southard House with great ambition that is worthy of a century old home.  Then, they will serve their customers with great accommodations that are worthy of visitors to Enid.  Route 60 wishes the Neals all the best and can’t wait to see the home in it’s full glory in 2013.

The Southard House has a blog.  I encourage you to visit it.  For one, it has a recipe for a cookie that is incredible!  Southard House Blog

The Southard House also has a Facebook page.  Head on over and give it a “Like!”  Facbook page for Southard House

The Southard House also has a website page as well for information on the house and the inn.  Southard House Website

 

Below is a photo gallery of some of the Southard House.