kpanek on December 20th, 2015

December 20, 2015 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: We have been playing with our fruit course again. Serving the “same old” gets boring even though it is new to the guests, delicious, and different fruits – it is still served the same way.

Yesterday we once again got the itch to “play” – so we did. Unfortunately we did not have a star fruit in-house to I resorted to a red raspberry. I was still pleased with the result. What do you think?

Tree of kiwis

kpanek on October 22nd, 2015


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kpanek on September 16th, 2015

Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, West Virginia: Gillum House Bed & Breakfast had a lovely visit today from Gene and Barry Jeffrey of Brymbo B & B in Chipping-Campden. They are on a Morgan Across America Tour. They were in Lewisburg, West Virginia last night and are in Cumberland, Maryland tonight. Since Shinnston is “sort of” in the middle of those places, Gene stopped in to see the B & B AND to collect our dues as we are now members of, the first from “across the Pond” to join them.

Innkeepers from UK arrive in a Morgan car.

A Morgan arrives in Shinnston

Logo of



BedPosts is a B & B Association (Club in the UK) that lists availability of its members so one can contact the B & B with availability directly – avoiding the fees charged to the guest by “booking services” so the guest gets the best price.



Gene Jeffrey has tea

Gene has a cuppa at Gillum House


Morgan at the Log Houe

The Morgan parked in front of the Shinn Log House

Before they went on their way (after having a cuppa of course),

we took them to tour the circa 1778 Levi Shinn 2-story log house. Gene and Barry agreed that although something 237 years old was rather “new” in the UK, it most likely would not have survived there because it is a log structure.

Gene and Barry in Log House

The Jeffreys explore the Shinn Log House

It was wonderful to meet in person, someone I have been talking to on the Internet for almost 2 years. Safe travels, Gene and Barry. It was lovely getting to meet both of you.


This Road Trip made me think of another road trip I took with innkeeper friends in 2013. I told somwonw about that trip and it was included here:  Scroll down to Reason # 2.

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kpanek on August 28th, 2015

Shinnstonm West Virginia, Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: This week is Frontier Days in Shinnston, West Virginia. Development Director Reuben Perdue has done a wonderful thing this year. This year he brought in a new carnival company – and it has made a WORLD of difference!

Usually, the Sunday of Frontier Days week, the carnival rides start rolling in and setting up. For the last 4 years game trailers were parked in front of the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast (would have been butt up to the porch if it were not for having a good sidewalk). All one could see from the porch, which was now a cave, was the back of the Skee Ball trailer and my side yard was littered with trash and cigarette butts.

This year the rides rolled in, were not set up in a loud clanging frenzy of loud, uncouth speech, and there was no trash. We still put up cones at City Hall (1/2 block away) for guest parking should we actually have guests for Frontier Days, one must admit we are where the action is. Promptly at 10 PM week nights and 11 PM on Saturday – ALL rides shut down and quiet descends. It is a wonderful Wednesday thru Saturday in Shinnston. Only one more day to go. The Grand Parade Saturday starts at 11 AM. The Bands (several) and the carnival start at 1 PM. APWA Wrestling at School Square at 7 PM (free admission).

It is lovely to see entire extended families come out for the fun and fellowship for food, rides, entertainment (Wednesday night was the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band and Saturday will be APWA Wrestling (all free by the way)), and to support all the local organizations with their fundraising efforts.

The following photos were taken from my front porch last evening and I could have taken those same photos tonight –

Kids rides in Oriole's Parking lot

Kiddie Rides across from the driveway









But the best, most heart-warming sight is our side yard wall :

Familis sitting on the wall at the Gillum House

Families at Frontier Days


Big Rides View From Porch

Current View From Porch

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kpanek on July 24th, 2015

Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, West Virginia: It is well-known that the innkeeper at Gillum House used to ride motorcycles and the B & B also has a resident artist of Classic Vintage motorcycles. He, in fact, was the owner/tuner of a 1960 BSA Gold Star racer (his friend Larry Cameron was the racer because he could not race due to polio) and did street ride Triumphs and BSAs for years. The paintings by John Panek adorn walls in almost every room in the house. There is an article about John Panek in the July 2015 Antique Motorcycle magazine.

The innkeeper has ridden in a small airplane, a prop airplane, jets, a glider (that was awesome), on the back of motorcycles, as the rider of motorcycles, and on a trike. This week, the innkeeper gets to do something new. IF all goes well, the innkeeper will be taking a road ride in a sidecar attached to a 1954 Harley Davidson Panhead. In the luggage going to McKee’s Sky Ranch All-Brands Motorcycle Event will be one (under-used for years) Shoei motorcycle helmet.

As the song says, “I’m so excited…”

The photo came…..

Kathleen rode in a side car

Kathleen gives the “royal wave”

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kpanek on July 16th, 2015

Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, West Virginia: I am sitting at my desk, awaiting the arrival of tonight’s guests, and can for the first time in almost a month see beyond my porch. FedEx came a few minutes ago to ship the 2 boxes of posts from here to a location in Florida.

Them being here was my doing, I admit, but I had no idea they were so large.

You see, Tesla Motors is creating charging destinations across the Country. If you have a car, you want to go places in it. So in addition to the Super-Charger Stations along Interstates, there are now bed & breakfasts, inns, and hotels around the United States with Tesla Chargers. So Gillum House Bed & Breakfast can now provide 58 miles of travel for each hour the Tesla is plugged in to our charger as an amenity for our guests with electric cars.

When Tesla asked if I wanted the posts, I said sure. Thinking they were posts – you know, the kind you take a posthole digger and dig a hole, slap in some cement to hold it, and voila, you have a post to hold a charger. These were so big, they would not fit where we planned to put the chargers. So the post went back in the box and back on the porch. The boxes were 51.5 inches high, 14.5 inches wide, and 13.5 inches deep. Tesla was kind enough to find someone else that needed them and sent FedEx to get them today.

What happened to the Chargers (one is Tesla only and the other is for all other electric cars)? They are mounted on the side of the house and look really nice. We will park our car on the street and park our electric car guests in the driveway, accessible to the chargers.

Chargers for electric cars and motorcycles.

Get “charged” at Gillum House


And we have not forgotten that the fastest stock motorcycle today is the Lightning, an electric motorcycle – we have an outlet for them also.

Gillum House Bed & Breakfast is located just under 7 miles from I-79 Exit #124 (Jerry Dove Drive).

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kpanek on July 6th, 2015

Shinnston, West Virginia, Gillum House Bed & Breakfast – July 6, 2015: We at the Gillum House believe in being “on the leading edge”. So when Tesla offered us chargers for Tesla cars and a Universal Charger for all other electric cars (yes, we went online and applied for it and they said yes), we jumped on it.

We got a proposal from Elkview Builders in Mount Clare, West Virginia to do the installation, got the equipment, and the building permit. On July 1, the electricians arrived. (We thank Paul and Anne for being understanding when the gentlemen came in to check out the breaker box while they were at breakfast. And we also thank the 2 gentlemen for being so caring about trying not to disrupt our guests.) They opened the first box containing a post to hang the charger on. We expected a post – use posthole digger, pour concrete to hold it, and mount charger. It was a huge square post that would not fit where we planned for them. So now I am waiting to hear about returning them.

In just a few hours, the electricians had the 2 chargers installed. So now Gillum House Bed & Breakfast is ready to get their guests “charged up” (pun intended) with their Tesla cars and all other electric or hybrid cars AND electric motorcycles. We are just under 7 miles west of Exit #124 (Jerry Dove Drive) on I-79, halfway between Pittsburgh and Charleston, West Virginia.

Chargers for electric cars and motorcycles.

Get “charged” at Gillum House





Isn’t this a thing of beauty? On the left is the Tesla Charger, the rectangle under and to the right of the meter is our 110 outlet for motorcycles, and to the right of the meter is the Universal Charger. This amenity is free for registered guests.

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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 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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