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Pawhuska's bed-and-bath sector continues to grow during pandemic

Kelly Bland

Just when you think folks would be hunkering down and pulling up stakes, Cecil and Cathy McGarrah of Broken Arrow broke ground on new construction of four new bed-and-bath lodging properties in Pawhuska and kept right on digging their heels into what they see as fertile soil.

Sept. 11, 2019, was the date the McGarrahs received their building permit, Cathy McGarrah recalled, but said footings weren't poured until a month or so later. What began as an adventure, soon proved the be more than what the couple had expected. Once the pandemic hit, construction delays became the norm - but the McGarrahs kept pressing on.

According to Cathy, the couple had been coming to Pawhuska for quite some time on day trips, and one day when she was standing in a book-signing line, she overheard a group of women talking about how they had flown in from Ohio to the Tulsa airport and then rented a vehicle for the weekend to be in Pawhuska for a chance to get an autographed copy of Ree Drummond's latest cookbook. Shortly after, the McGarrahs decided to invest in Pawhuska and purchased a half-acre lot on 9th Street.

Cecil McGarrah designed and constructed, and Cathy decorated what are now known as The Cottages on the Prairie. These four newly-constructed homes are just under 1,000 square feet each. All have two bedrooms with king-sized beds, 9 ft. ceilings, lofted living room ceilings, full kitchens, and extra special touches in decor. The McGarrahs recently held an open house, and bookings for upcoming dates are being placed.

Osage County Tourism's hat is off to Cecil and Cathy McGarrah for investing in a pandemic -- for wanting to meet a need and make a difference in the Osage - and for getting the job done well.

Check out The Cottages on the Prairie on AirBNB and book a stay in The Farmhouse, The Cowboy, The Country Garden, or The Traditional and come enjoy a weekend in the place where #TheSmilesAreAlwaysFree - Osage County, Oklahoma!

Kelly Bland is executive director of Osage County Tourism.