Greensburg Airbnb welcomes guests with a rustic, quiet setting to relax while traveling

Edward J. Naughton
Kiowa County Signal
Prairie Pines Farm cabin is a two-story structure, with 7 beds altogether, and one bathroom available to rent for an Airbnb getaway near Greensburg.
John Unruh talks about his Airbnb cabin, and the water tower on the property that survived the May 4, 2007 tornado that hit Greensburg.
A homey kitchen welcomes guests at Prairie Pines Farms Airbnb in Kiowa County.

Prairie Pines Farm, located on the southernmost edge of Greensburg on South Cherry street, which among other property features, includes the family home of John and Elvera Unruh. It's likely that their property also features one of the best Airbnb cabins of its kind in the area, according to reviews on an official Airbnb site online.

A very old and treasured watertower which Unruh is rightly proud of because of its age and versatility, has been in use for many years, with tank inside, keeping watch over the timeless beauty of this little place in the country in Kiowa County.

The Unruh's historic 24-acres on the southern edge of town, includes their own house, several older barn-type structures, the old watertower with tank, and a shed too. 

The Prairie Pines Farm cabin is a two-story structure, with seven beds altogether, and one bathroom. The cabin is nicely outfitted, inside and out, so this building is a feature of the property that Unruh is really proud of, especially since 2016 when they decided to venture into the international phenomenon known as AirBNB.

"We have people come visit us from Germany and many other countries too, but we also have several guests who are just ordinary U.S. citizens traveling for instance from coast-to-coast and want to stop here and spend a night at our AirBNB cabin before they go back on the road to resume their trip, because they are traveling through Kansas on their way to visit family members in other states east of Kansas, even places quite a distance away like Massachussets," Unruh said. "Our guests enjoy the quiet rural setting and strong wifi signal with internet use readily available which is a big plus for them to stay connected with family members and friends."

Of course the guests who stay a night or two enjoy visiting with the barnyard animals and the breezes generated from the many trees are enjoyed by many who stay at Prairie Pines Farm. 

Elvera Unruh is an interior decorator by trade and she has done a remarkable job in making the cabin look down-home traditional Kansas, very appropriate and comfortable for guests in all respects with couches and chairs, a roomy kitchen to work in, a nice bed to sleep in downstairs, with many more upstairs, air conditioning, a very reliable heating system, and with fixtures and artistic features that speak to eras nearly past in Kansas history like colorful old ceramic roosters gracing a table in the room. 

Unruh is rated by AirBNB as a super-host which means he regularly gets a 5-star review from registered guests based on their experience while staying here for a night or two, or even longer if they are hunters visiting for a extended stay. 

The comments guests make online in the AirBNB system Unruh regularly views and monitors diligently with his I-phone. He especially likes the ease of the AirBNB application on his phone, keeping him updated as to guest arrival and  status updates.  

Unruh said that guests rate him on the accommodation provided and the timeliness of response to their requests during their stay. 

He also mentioned that as an AirBNB super-host, he will rate the guests on how they leave the cabin, which pertains to level of cleanliness found after they check out of the premises, as defined in the posted rules which help the guests understand better what kind of basic courtesies and considerations are expected of them which are common-sense like informing the host of any maintenance issues that arise during their stay, or any help needed in case of spills or other mishaps.

The guests who stay in the cabin understand their responsibility and respect the property and their host as they likely rent with other hosts in the AirBNB system so they want to obviously maintain a good reputation online with other AirBNB hosts they encounter in other places even if those places are in other countries.

Denise Unruh is the go-to person for housekeeping at the Prairie Pines Farm cabin.

"I am a stay-at-home mom with two boys, but I have a sideline business of sorts, somes I clean a house, or office cleaning too," she said. "Doing this kind of work helps my husband who works very hard and so this is a good source of part-time income for our household. I appreciate work here as I am treated very well and the owner often will ask my opinion about the state of cleanliness in the cabin when a guest checks out. I work on an all-or-nothing basis in principle, which means I scrub the floor on my hands and knees as a rule, and try to get into every nook and cranny to make sure the cabin is really clean. The owner prefers that I use Murphy's Oil soap for cleaning the floors especially in the kitchen area. I do prefer using Norwex microfiber for window cleaning jobs, with a little water in a spray bottle handy. The microfiber does a better job at cleaning windows than Windex in my opinion."

The guest rate that Unruh charges is about $122 per night at his cabin, through the reservation system online, so when processed includes a fee for AirBNB added during the reservation process, and finally taxes are added, all by the software processing the reservation through AirBNB, which in the case of Prairie Pines Farm cabin is estimated to be about $148 finally by the time the one-night stay is processed and that is for one person. If there is more than one person than the basic amount slightly increases so the final amount of course increases.

Unruh said there is a different cost equation that comes into play for obviously a cheaper rate, when it comes to an extended stay reservation for certain qualified guests he works with, folks like a small group of hunters who may need the cabin for a week or even longer in some cases in the fall season.

One of the things that Unruh seems to like as much as his guests apparently do too is the convenience of the AirBNB system whereby a guest basically can use the reservation and guest registration to meet his preferential needs. 

"We send them the keybox code the day of arrival. Some guests want to meet us and visit, and others want privacy and we respect that," he said.

Dogs brought by hunters are required for the most part to be housed in their respective kennels so that the cleanliness and integrity of the cabin is protected from damage they would otherwise inflict on the property because these dogs are plainly outside dogs.

"As a super-host in the AirBNB system we also rate our guests as to their cleanliness while they are guests here and so we try to keep things clean and comfortable," Unruh said.

He also cares for animals on the property which include a llama named Larry who is a little camera-shy, several goats including a baby goat or two, Molly the goat, a donkey named Danny, and even a dog named Charlie to watch over things in the barn and in the fenced pasture land.

Unruh said the animals provide a relaxing atmosphere in this rural setting. 

Dillon's for groceries is close for guests to shop so they can cook their own food in the nicely outfitted cabin kitchen.  Some guests have commented on the AirBNB website that if you come to Greensburg don't miss a night stay at Prairie Pines Farm and definitely also take advantage of a visit to the Greensburg soda fountain which is located in the same building as the town library on main street. There a guest can enjoy the Soda fountain for a delicious coffee, Coke product, ice cream sundae, or shake. 

It seems that the goats are always watching their own back-sides whenever the donkey is approaching from around the bend of the barn around perhaps because they know what kind of damage he can do if he happens to kick them if they get in his way.

There are so many trees on this property that you could even imagine this as an early American homestead. 

Earl Liggett deceased in August 2020, previously owned this property. Liggetts' brother M. T. Liggett also previously deceased, is very famous as an artist in Mullinville. Earl Liggett had a very remarkable life and life's work on his own account, and worked very hard and planted many trees on the property most of which are still standing tall and well today, having for the most part survived the storm that devastated Greensburg on May 4, 2007. The tornado took a path that dealt a glancing blow to the property in terms of comparison to the rest of the town, but the small water tower with the tank inside did survive the storm's blast amazingly.