Home Away from Home
Bed and breakfast owners share the joy of country living
Photo by Angela Studnek
Hidden Meadows Bed and Breakfast
8303 South Brushcreek Rd,
Stillwater, Oklahoma, 74074
A few miles off highway 177 south of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Hidden Meadows Bed and Breakfast awaits guests seeking a relaxing getaway immersed in nature. Owned and managed by husband and wife Bart and Connie Brashears, Hidden Meadows sits on 35 acres of land that Connie’s family has owned since 1900. As a young girl, she remembers playing on the property and spotting a waterfall that would later become inspiration for the B&B.
“It always seemed like the perfect place to build a house,” Connie says.
Photo by Gail Banzet-Ellis
Bart and Connie built careers in sales, banking and hospital fundraising while raising their three children in other parts of Oklahoma, but for retirement they chose to return to Kastl family land in Stillwater. Both husband and wife come from rural backgrounds—Bart grew up on a small farm in Alex, Oklahoma. He was active in 4-H and FFA before graduating from Oklahoma State University (OSU). Throughout their travels over the past 40 years, the Brashears have always made an effort to stay at more personal, local B&Bs, rather than hotels. The experience provided an opportunity to meet the innkeepers and gather ideas for a project of their own someday.
“Ideally, we wanted to build a home we could share with family and friends,” Bart says.
With the help of a local architect, their design for a 6,000-square-foot floor plan came to life featuring four suites with private bathrooms and an inviting kitchen and dining area. Other outdoor living spaces include two covered decks and an open balcony.
As Central Electric Cooperative members, the Brashears participated in a rebate program that incorporated geothermal electricity into the B&B’s heating and cooling systems. It was important to Connie that the project continue the co-op family tradition established by her father, Emil Kastl, who served on the Central Electric Cooperative board.
“He was Mr. Cooperative and was known for getting electricity brought to Payne County in the late ‘30s and ‘40s,” Connie says.
Hidden Meadows celebrated its opening in May 2017—just in time for OSU commencement. Located a quick 15 minutes from campus, Bart and Connie envisioned their B&B for those attending mom or dad weekends, football games or other OSU events. The house also is ideal for people visiting Stillwater on business or families celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.
Guests from as far away as Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida and as close as just down the road have stayed at Hidden Meadows. Many leave comments and gracious feedback in journals the Brashears have placed in each of the suites.
“We wanted families to come together and consider this home as their home for a short time,” Connie says. “We’ve really enjoyed meeting people and hosting a space for families to catch up. You can’t do that as easily in a restaurant. We let the guests structure how much interaction we have with them. We have seating for couples or a table that seats 12 for a family that rents the whole facility.”
Photo by Angela Studnek
The Brashears work as a team to manage day-to-day tasks such as cleaning rooms. Bart, who often serves up a little comedy, is in charge of lawn maintenance and is developing some easy walking trails on the property. Connie enjoys gardening and cooking; she has planted 100 daffodil bulbs around the house and grows fruits and vegetables she can incorporate into her breakfast cuisine. Guests benefit from her lifetime of cooking experience with delectable dishes such as Belgian waffles, oven French toast, biscuits and gravy, frittatas and kolaches. Bart and Connie have a small prayer room over the garage for guests. They have looked at offering workshops on flower arranging, cooking or scrapbooking in the B&B’s spacious walkout basement.
For those who prefer a little downtime, Hidden Meadows is a quaint spot for a quiet retreat in the Oklahoma countryside. Wild turkey and whitetail deer roam the property, the waterfall Connie remembers from childhood can be seen from one of the B&B’s covered decks, and outdoor dining is always encouraged.
“We like sharing the peacefulness of nature,” Bart says. “Hummingbirds join us for breakfast in the spring and summertime.”
In addition to six grandchildren, the Brashear family continues to grow with every new guest who walks through the doors of Hidden Meadows. After decades of planning and dreaming, Bart and Connie have transformed their B&B vision into a reality.
“I wasn’t ready to retire and sit and do nothing,” Connie says. “We want to give others a chance to get away from their daily hustle and bustle and soak in the tranquility of God’s creation.”
Sharing your home with guests is an enjoyable adventure, and it is one Bart says is worthwhile.
“We get to learn about their lives and share our joy because we enjoy living here,” he says.