kpanek on April 29th, 2015

April 29, 2015 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: Our youngest daughter was here for 4 days. She had planned what she was going to accomplish while she was here. Since her sister and nephews (and our now future granddaughter-in-law) had painted the kitchen during their 2-days here but did not get the floor, she finished the kitchen. BUT she also planned to redecorate our wonderful front porch. What do you think? Did she succeed?

New Gillum House porch

Newly decorated Gillum House front porch



Can you see yourself enjoying the glider or sitting in that chair with a cold beverage on a warm evening?

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kpanek on April 20th, 2015

April 20, 2015, Gillum House, Shinnston:  For the last few weeks, Shinnston’s Lee Reger, Mater Gardener, has been working with the Master Gardener volunteers, Mayor DeMarco, Pastor Cindy Murphy, and community volunteers to plan and plant the Shinnston Community Garden 2015.

Mayor Sam pounds in the poles for beans

Mayor DeMarco sets rods for Development Director Perdue to attach clamps

In 2014, using land owned by the First United Methodist Church and funding from part of a grant from West Virginia DHHR’s Growing Healthy Communities, the Shinnston Community Garden was born. As per stated in the grant application, ALL produce raised would go to the Lord’s Pantry Food Bank. Over 800 pounds of produce was raised and donated in 2014. The plan for 2015 is MORE. An expanded Garden raising more produce for the Lord’s Pantry is planned.

Becca & Sara plant potatoes

Becca & Sara, Master Gardeners, planted 2 potato stacks

Since the beginning of April, the work has been on-going. April 11 was a big work day with planting potatoes, spinach, cabbage, and lettuce. Garlic and green onions had already been planted and were up. Flowers were planted in the flower boxes on the fence to beautify as well as feed.

Shinnston Community Garden sign erected

The sign is erected by Lee and the Mayor

On the 18th, Lee Reger brought out the tiller so more potatoes, bush beans, and corn could be planted next week. He will have more compost put over potatoes that were planted too shallow due to the hardness of the ground.

Lee Reger tills the potato patch

The ground is hard-packed

A big thank you goes to the City of Clarksburg for donating a ton of compost to our Community Garden.




Garlic Bed

The garlic is growing

Come visit Shinnston and see how our Garden Grows in 2015.

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kpanek on April 18th, 2015

April 18, 2015, Gillum House, Shinnston:  We have been among the missing for a while. Medical issues with himself, coupled with the Winter Doldrums, and with visits from children and grandchildren (aka willing slaves to fixer up) are part of the reason. Have you ever felt like just doing nothing? You know there is a To Do list a mile long, but you just cannot muster the oomph to do anything.

We have been getting the Shinnston Community Garden ready. The sun has broken through and the temperature is warm enough to go out without a jacket. RAMPS signs are appearing next to trucks parked along the road. SPRING is here!!

Today after taking some photos at the Community Garden (all produce goes to the Lord’s Pantry Food Bank), I actually noticed MY yard. The flower garden one of the twins planted a couple years ago survived and I got out the puller (they actually make a device to pull dandelions) and removed some of the dandelions. The tulips at the shed by the clothesline were blooming, the parsley planted 10 years ago is still coming up, the sage and other herbs are getting ready to be used, and the garlic chives survived the winter. Almost time to plant basil.

Blooming Tulips

Tulips by the clothesline





This parsley has seeded itself for 10 years


Glower garden

Shannon’s Flowers grow

So the herbs are ready to be used for breakfasts, the online reservation system is ready for entries, the A/C units are being put in, and with luck, the custom-made headboard for the new king bed will be here soon. The Ellis Drive-in is now open weekends, the Ellis Flea Market opened today. The hills are greening up and the rail-trail is ready for you to enjoy. Our Wild & Wonderful West Virginia is waiting to give you relaxation and pleasure.

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kpanek on January 5th, 2015

January 5, 2015 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Shinnston, West Virginia: Wow! I just looked at the calendar – Valentine’s Day is a 3-Day Weekend! That means, in addition to a romantic weekend (covered bridges, wineries, a hike on the rail-trail in the countryside), the 3rd night would be at our 2015 Third Night Special. Three nights in a quiet setting (downtown but as quiet a country) with restaurants nearby – walk to some and some within a mile – and 3 great breakfasts served at your time.

Wine Tasting at lambert's

The Girl’s taste wine at Lambert’s




Dents Run Bridge

Dents Run Covered Bridge and winding road






Or make it an Elopement and Honeymoon and never have to try to remember your anniversary.

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kpanek on January 1st, 2015

January 01, 2015 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, West Virginia: We served our first breakfast of 2015 this morning. My Mother always told us to stop playing with our food. Well who ever listened to their Mom? We all know that playing with our food was FUN. Well, xx years later, nothing has changed here. Seeing different ways to present things – and then trying to replicate it is fun and keeps things interesting.

We even varied the menu a bit from the usual for our vegetarian guests this morning. No muffins. WHAT? No muffins! Yep. We had orange juice and mango nectar as our juices of the day. The entrée consisted of basil with sour cream and cheddar egg bake, fried potatoes, our homemade bean burger, and Gillum House cloverleaf rolls. And the coffee was Honduran.

Butterfly Fruit Platter

Butterfly Fruit Platter


Oh, yes. I did say we did a bit of playing with our food, didn’t I. In case you cannot tell what it is supposed to be as happened with the resident dishwasher, it is a butterfly.

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kpanek on December 26th, 2014

December 26, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, WV: Each year for the last few years, Gillum House Bed & Breakfast has had a Special for reservations of 3 or more nights based on something happening in that year. 2015 is a significant year for the Innkeeper. This year is the 40th wedding anniversary of the evening that friend, family, and 6 children gathered in the living room of a house in Carpentersville, Illinois to witness Rev. William Clark perform a wedding ceremony.




Our oldest son (13) was Best Man and the youngest (16 months) walked around dragging a throw rug (that photo has disappeared darn it – it was cute). Four of the others are sitting with family while the middle son is out of this photo with his aunt.

Therefore, in honor of that event, the 3rd night rate for 2015 will be $40.00 + tax for any room (of course with breakfast). We hope you come visit as there is so much to see and do in West Virginia and Shinnston is in the heart of it.

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kpanek on December 7th, 2014
Shinnston Community Band

Shinnston Community Band Summer Concert

December 7, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, West Virginia: Last night was the 18th annual Shinnston Community Band Concert. Thank you Alex Linger for the recordings and the link.

The innkeeper at Gillum House Bed & Breakfast plays Baritone Saxophone in the Community Band. We have been in rehearsal since October. The Community Band has musicians from Shinnston as its nucleus but are fortunate to have musicians from 10 other counties join us to create the Band. The ages of the approximate 70 musicians are from 12 to VERY-well-seasoned. I am pleased to present the Shinnston Community Band (vocalist is Gigi Collett)

Shinnston Community Band Christmas Concert Dec. 6, 2014

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kpanek on August 25th, 2014

August 25, 2014 Gillum House: B & Bs for Vets started in West Virginia and in 2010, WVBBA took the program nationwide. In 2014, the list of West Virginia Bed and Breakfast Association members participating is now available at Scroll down on the page for the list and contact information.

Lincoln Color Guard

Lincoln High School NJROTC

The Gillum House Bed & Breakfast is taking reservations for B & Bs For Vets 2014.   IF you can take 3 nights, November 9-11, 2014, Gillum House is making 2 rooms available ONLY for Vets.   Each couple will have a room with a queen bed and a private bathroom totally FREE OF CHARGE with Military or V A ID.

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kpanek on June 9th, 2014

June 9, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Shinnston, West Virginia: Saturday was a rip-roaring day! It was the Third Annual United Way of Harrison County Bocce Tournament fundraiser. The American Pro Wrestling Alliance, United Way of Harrison County, Huntington Bank, City of Shinnston, WesBanco, Embellishments Too, Chunki’s Pizza, Antero Resources, Vintage Theatre Company, Pepsi, and Shinnston Shop N Save were sponsors of the event and fielded teams. It was a Total Blast!

Kathleen plays bocce

Kathleen throws red

Your innkeeper (also City Clerk) was on the City of Shinnston Team with City Manager Debra Herndon, PRO Officer Mark McCullough, and Mayor Sam DeMarco. Imagine my surprise, we WON our first game! Then we won the second game! It is a double elimination tournament.

Green scores

Green scores 2 points

There was a 2 hour gap before we could play our next two games. But we are HOT!! We need to keep going! Had to wait for the next bracket. Who do we play next? The United Way Knockers! Before anyone gets the wrong idea, in bocce, when you kill the other team’s ball (or try to) it is called a knocker. They were the champs last year and even have new team shirts! They are not called the Knockers for nothing. Needless to say, they made short work of us as did the team from the County Prosecutor’s Office. I could go home and find my pillow.

And the winners of the Trophy? Who else? The United Way Knockers!

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kpanek on June 7th, 2014

June 7, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Shinnston, West Virginia: We hope you have enjoyed discovering the unique things found near the Gillum House and Shinnston, West Virginia. We saved the best, and rarest, for last. And whether Shinnston has what you are looking for or not, West Virginia has it for you (unless you require an ocean – we ARE a bit short of ocean views) somewhere in our Wild & Wonderful State. Send us an e-mail and we will help you find it.


#1 Levi Shinn House – In 1772, Levi Shinn and his brothers Clement and Jonathan and their cousin Benjamin came to the area that is now Shinnston and claimed land by Tomahawk Rights. Jonathan’s twin, David, came also but returned to New Jersey to fight in the Revolutionary War. He returned to Shinnston but soon moved to Hampshire County where he lived until his death.  After claiming the land, they returned to New Jersey for their families. It is not known exactly when the log house was built, however, by 1778 the 2-story log house of Levi Shinn, his wife Elizabeth, and their 9 children was there on what is now US Rt. 19.

Levi Shinn Log House

Levi Shinn Log House



The Shinn House has 18th Century “central heat” and 90% of the outside walls are said to be original. It is located on the original site. The Shinn Log House is owned by the Shinnston Historical Association.


signing guestbook

Elopement couple sign Shinn House Guestbook

Tours of the 4-room log house are available through Gillum House Bed & Breakfast – the Historical Association has a Free-Will Donation Box at the house (there is no other “fee” for the tours).  Gillum House offers an Elopement Package with ceremonies in the Shinn House.

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kpanek on June 6th, 2014

June 6, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Shinnston, West Virginia: Several years ago, guests booked the night tour and then decided to go back the next day for the day tour. When they returned from the day’s outing, we asked them of it (since they did both tour) was worth the money. They looked at each other as if to check the other’s opinion, and responded, “YES!” Last year I took my daughter who is “into” paranormal sites on the night tour – she loved it and I found it very interesting. (It was safe for me to go there now that “it is just a tour”.)

#2 – Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Construction of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum took place between 1858 and 1881. After the Civil War, the State of Virginia sued the State of West Virginia for the costs of the existing buildings – and won!

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum


Opened to take patients in 1864, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was in use as a mental hospital until 1994 under the name Weston State Hospital. The original name was restored when it was opened to the Public for tours. There are day tours, night tours, and overnight tours available.

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kpanek on June 5th, 2014

June 5, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Shinnston, West Virginia: The Gillum House is approximately 25 miles from the Mother’s Day Shrine and approximately 25 miles from the Anna Jarvis House Museum. The Jarvis House is actually passed on the way to the Philippi Covered Bridge.

#3 – Mother’s Day Shrine – The Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church of Grafton, West Virginia has become known as the Mother’s Day Shrine. The first Mother’s Day Service was observed May 10, 1908.

Mother's Day Shrine

Sanctuary of Mother’s Day Shrine

Anna Jarvis asked the Church her family belonged to, to hold the first Mother’s Day Service and then petitioned to have it declared a National Holiday which was done by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. She is recognized as the Founder of Mother’s Day. The Anna Jarvis House was restored and the two rooms used by General McClellan during the Battle of Philippi were restored as his Headquarters.

Anna Jarvis House

Anna Jarvis House

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kpanek on June 4th, 2014

June 4, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Shinnston, West Virginia: We are presenting reasons that are unique to this area as our reasons to visit. Many states have covered bridges, but only one was the site (and the “prize”) of the first land battle of the Civil War.

#4 – Philippi Bridge – The “prize” that was the focus of the first land battle of the Civil War was the covered bridge that spanned the Tygart River in Philippi, Virginia on June 3, 1861.

Battle Standards

Standards of Units in Battle of Philippi

Philippi Covered Bridge

Philippi Bridge




Just south of the Bridge on the west side (US 119 side) there is a small park with the Battle Standards of every Military Unit participating in the Battle of Philippi.





During the planning and the Battle of Philippi, Union General George McClellan made his headquarters in the Jarvis House in Webster (home of the Father of the founder of Mother’s Day – Anna Jarvis).

Anna Jarvis House

Anna Jarvis House

On June 20, 1863, Statehood was granted to West Virginia as a “Border” State of the Union.




There are 8 other covered bridges of the 17 remaining in West Virginia that are within a 60-mile radius of the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast including the Carrollton Bridge located a few miles south of Philippi.

Carrollton Covered Bridge

Carrollton Covered Bridge

When in Philippi do see the Depot Museum, if it is open. It has some quite interesting artifacts – and mummies (real ones).

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kpanek on June 2nd, 2014

June 2, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: This was supposed to be posted on June 1, but the Gillum House was a wonderful ZOO yesterday! Saturday we had 3 rooms occupied by APWA Wrestlers – Onyx, Mason Ryan, and Fantasia – and before breakfast was finished, the 3 gentlemen who were biking the North Bend Rail-Trail called to ask for pick-up. I fell asleep before I could finish the June 1 blog – I finished it now and hope you enjoy it. June 1, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Shinnston: Wednesday, May 28, 3 gentlemen from Ohio stayed with us prior to riding the entire North Bend Rail-Trail. On their return today, they reported the trail is a beautiful trail. As it goes east it is rougher due to the distance from North Bend State Park where the short-staffed Park employees who are charged with the maintenance of the 72-mile rail-trail are located. But all three gentlemen said it was a great ride. #5 – Network of rail-trails

West Fork River Rail-Trail

West Fork River Rail-Trail

The West Fork River Rail-Trail is less than 50 feet from the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast. It is a 17-mile rail-trail between Shinnston and Fairmont, West Virginia. Traversing the City of Fairmont via City streets, one comes to the MCPARC Trail (one mile with a tunnel) to Prickett’s Fort, and then on to access the Mon-Trail Conservancy rail-trails that extend into Pennsylvania.

Prickett's Fort

Prickett’s Fort

South of Shinnston and west is the eastern trailhead for the North Bend Rail-Trail with the western trailhead just east of Parkersburg. The North Bend Rail-Trail has 13 tunnels. The Allegheny Highlands Trail starts in Elkins and goes to Hendricks, West Virginia. Information about all the rail-trails in West Virginia including a locator map are available through the West Virginia Division of Tourism (1-800-CALLWVA)

Bike Rider

Biker on North Bend Rail-Trail – May 2014

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kpanek on May 31st, 2014

May 31, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Shinnston, West Virginia: West Virginia has several spectacular waterfalls around the State. These two are near Gillum House. Each is spectacular in its own way.

#6 – WaterfallsValley Falls State Park and Blackwater Falls State Park have beautiful waterfalls that are quite different.

Valley Falls located between Fairmont and Grafton has huge rocks the Tygart Valley River flows over. It is a favorite of local kayakers and weddings as well as picnics and enjoying the falls.

Valley Falls

Mesmerized by Valley Falls beauty





Valley Falls State Park

One of the Falls – Valley Falls







Blackwater Falls is a high falls of extreme beauty on the Blackwater River. One can hike the trail down to the falls for a better look or go to the ADA Accessible scenic view on the other side of the river.

Blackwater Falls

Walkway down to Blackwater Falls

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