The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 1, 2013

Luxurious getaway: Newest bed and breakfast open in Kenwood District

By Bridget Nash, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — There is a peaceful, luxurious haven right in the middle of Enid for residents and visitors who want an escape.

Southard House is a new bed and breakfast in a beautifully restored historic home in the Kenwood Historic District.

James and Tammy Neal have been working around the clock for months to bring this business to the public and their efforts have paid off.

“We’re really blessed to take this on and share it with the public,” said James. “We’ve been working on this for six months, and we really tried to pay attention to all the details.”

Southard House has four suites available, and each suite is lush and unique.

“My creativity just kicked in,” said Tammy of designing each suite.

Each of the four suites has a theme and a name. Suite Dreams is a garden-themed suite accented with a restful lavender color scheme and purple hydrangeas, wisteria and lavender.

Suite Hope is a Marie Antoinette-themed suite complete with all the luxury that would make even the historic French queen, known for her lavish tastes, comfortable and at ease. The suite has a delicate, feminine flair and is decorated in pink and ivory and roses.

Suite Blessings is accented with angels and lace and is embellished in a soothing blue to evoke a sense of peace.

“I wanted that room to be peaceful and tranquil,” said Tammy.

Suite Beginnings is the entire third floor of the historic home and was inspired by the City of Love: Paris. The suite is decorated in elegant black and white with crimson accents.

Tammy said the idea of opening another bed and breakfast in Enid came to her when she was in the midst of her own wedding preparations.

“I wanted to get dressed in a nice and pretty place,” said Tammy. “I didn’t want the background of my photos to be a children’s Sunday school classroom.”

Tammy checked around and found her few options for a beautiful place to get ready already were booked.

This realization, coupled with her natural gift of being a hostess, spun into the idea to bring another beautiful bed and breakfast to Enid.

James and Tammy purchased the historic Southard House in November 2012, and with the support of Enid residents quickly turned the dream into reality. Their business has been open for two weeks and they are in no shortage of customers.

“We’ve had a full house,” said Tammy. “We definitely got baptized by fire.”

Southard House will have its official ribbon cutting Saturday along with an open house and a house blessing ceremony. The Southard House ribbon cutting with Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce will be at 1 p.m. Visitors are welcome to come by the open house and see the new bed and breakfast with their own eyes.

Southard House also will have a boutique so people can take a little bit of Southard House home with them. The luxury, handmade olive oil soaps that are found in each suite can be purchased at the boutique along with home decor and gift items, tea items and even Vermont maple syrup.

Those who stay at Southard House not only will experience luxury but also experience history.

“One of the things that really drew us to the house ... was the opportunity to preserve and share the house,” said James.

The house was purchased from Marty Tydings and was built in 1912 by George Franklin Southard and Lilla Hughes Southard, who settled in Oklahoma Territory in 1904.

Long after the deaths of the Southard family, the home had fallen into disrepair and was purchased by Tydings in 1998 who renovated the home, saving it and paying attention to historic detail.

The historic home now is in good hands with James and Tammy Neal, who have made their home in the basement level of the large house. The couple is eager to share the home with anyone who wishes to stay there.

“It’s just a really wonderful place, “said Tammy. “You have to be here and experience it to know what I mean. When you step in the door it’s like stepping into a whole new world.”

Southard House is located at 518 W. Pine.

To book a suite or just peruse photos of the bed and breakfast, go to www.southard house.com.

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Enid also boasts another bed and breakfast, Maple Place Bed and Breakfast, located at 418 W. Maple.

Also in the Kenwood district, Maple Place began in 1999 and has been owned by Lissie and Jeff King and Roxanne Pollard since December 2012.

Maple Place offers 10 guest rooms throughout three historic homes in Enid.

“Each room is different,” said Lissie King. “Each one has a specific name.”

Each suite name is reflective of the room, and Maple Place often hosts out-of-town visitors for events.

King said Maple Place has hosted wedding parties, birthday events, bridal and baby showers and families of veterans visiting for military related events.

Maple Place also has suites for long-term visitors.

“Long-term is five nights or more,” said King, who also said the average stay of a long-term visitor at Maple Place is two weeks.

Maple Place Bed and Breakfast books quickly, and visitors who have stayed at Maple Place before may find new and updated things the next time they stay.

“We’re trying to slowly redecorate,” said King.

The phone number for Maple Place is 234-5858.

Enid’s two bed and breakfasts are perfect for those visiting Enid, but they also are perfect for Enid residents who just need a few days and a relaxing change of scene.