May 28, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: Reason # 10 to visit Gillum House is a bit different. West Virginia is a coal State. . It has been blessed (and cursed) with natural resources such as coal, gas, oil, and an abundance of beautiful hills (mountains). When you have coal mines, you have disasters. Many of the coal mine disasters in West Virginia have been the catalyst for mining legislation. The Farmington #9 Memorial holds a ceremony every November. Mines became much safer after the legislation sparked by this. The last man out of Farmington #9 alive, until his death from cancer, sat next to this innkeeper in the Shinnston Community Band. He willed his tuba to the Band. The disaster at Sago caused even more legislation for mine safety. Come do the Mine Trail in memory of those who performed a dangerous job and gave their lives to make life safer for those who would come after.
#10 – Mine Disaster Trail – Approximately 6 miles north of Shinnston is the site of the worst mine disaster in the United States. On December 6, 1907 there was an explosion at the #6 and #8 mines of Fairmont Coal Company in Monongah. Although the “official” count was 367, there were many undocumented boys under the legal age of 10 in the mine. Only one man was rescued alive. In 2007, the town of San Giovanni in Fiore, Italy where many of the miner were from, presented this Monument to the Monongah Mining disaster on the 100th anniversary of the explosions.
The Katherine Mine, Lumberport March 25, 1944, Farmington #9 November 13, 1954, Clinchfield Coal Mine, Dola April 25, 1963, Farmington #9 November 30, 1968, and Sago at Tallmansville January 2, 2006 were also mine disasters in the Shinnston area..
Tags: coal, coal mines, Dola, Farmington, Farmington #9, Gillum House, Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Katharine Mine, Katherine Mine, Lumberport, mine disasters, Monongah, Sago, Shinnston Community Band, West Virginia
May 27, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: We are going to combine Reasons # 12 and 11 into one posting. Reason #12 is a Museum within a 2-hour scenic drive of Shinnston (and if interested, the Palace of Gold can be on the routing) and #11 is all the small museums in the area – each with its own history to be told. There is quite a variety of focus also. We hope you enjoy this snippet of discovery.
#11 – Museum Tour – There are many museums in the area in and around Shinnston for those seeking history of an area, of an industry, of military, or genealogy. The Bice-Ferguson Memorial Museum has a permanent exhibit of telephones from wall mounted crank-types to candlestick, to princess and Shinnston history that is more than dusty files. The inner exhibit area changes monthly throughout the April – October season.
There are Historical Society museums such as the Harrison County Historical Society, Marion County Historical Society, and the Depot Museum in Philippi around the area. For those searching for family history there are genealogy research sites such as the Swiger Family Museum, Genealogy Room at the Lowe Public Library, Hackers Creek Genealogy Museum, and the WVU Library. One can also find Military museums in Weston and Parkersburg, Glass museums in Weston and Wheeling, and homes such as Adaland and the Anna Jarvis House.
#12 – Birthplace of a State – West Virginia is the only State created from another State during a war. The 3rd floor Courtroom of the Custom House at Market Street and 16th Street was the site of the formation of the new State which was ultimately named, West Virginia. Now known as Independence Hall,
the Courtroom has been restored and Independence Hall is now a West Virginia Museum. On June 19, 1863 the Custom House on Market Street was in Wheeling, Virginia. However, on June 20, 1863, the Custom House was located on Market Street in Wheeling, West Virginia! Also when in Wheeling the Suspension Bridge to Wheeling Island is interesting. After crossing the bridge, on the left is the city building that chronicles the floods on the Island over the years with year and marks on the wall of depth of the flooding.
Tags: Anna Jarvis, City of Shinnston, Genealogy, Gillum House, Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Glass, Hackers Creek, Independence Hall, military, Mother's Day, museum, Parkersburg, Shinnston, West Virginia, Weston
May 26, 2014 – Gillum House, Shinnston, WV: #13 – Forts – Prickett’s Fort, a re-creation of a 1774 stockade civilian fort with interpreters of the era demonstrating aspects of life in 1774. Also on the property is the Job Prickett house built in 1859. Prickett’s Fort is approximately 15 miles north of Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, turn left onto Prickett’s Fort Road from WV Rte. 73.
This is Prickett’s Fort State Park in Fairmont.
Fort New Salem is a recreation of a blockhouse civilian fort with log cabins and log structures that have been moved to the site. Fort New Salem portrays the frontier of the Nineteenth Century with interpreters of the era. Fort New Salem is approximately 23 miles south and west of Gillum House Bed & Breakfast at US Rte. 50 and WV Rte. 23.
May 15, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: Shinnston was the first city in West Virginia to be designated as a Playful City.
There are requirements to get this designation. It is important because if a cityrepeatedly qualifies as a Playful City it qualifies for certain grants. Due to this, Shinnston received grants to help purchase the playground by the large pavilion at Ferguson Park and the Innovation Playground.
One of the things Shinnston does as a Playful City is Play Day at the Park for the students at Big Elm at the end of the school year to encourage playing.
Today, May 15, 2014, Shinnston was notified of designation as Playful City for the 4th consecutive year!
May 5, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: Yesterday morning as I drove north on US Rte. 19 down the hill by the Shop N Save from picking up the Sunday Charleston Gazette-Mail, the hill across the river was a beautiful shade of young green. What is young green? The color of the leaves of the trees as they come out in Spring is young green! The trees at the top of the hill were beautiful. Down in the valley closer to the river, the trees with leaves that were just starting to bud were bathed on the golden glow of the sun as it was rising. Then as I continued to Walnut Street, the purplish cloud that formed a backdrop to the old Shinnston High School gave the impression of mountains. It was so beautiful! I was grateful for having a reason to be out of the house but returning to fix breakfast for our interesting guests from Canada. The wonderful thing about yesterday morning is the fact that unless it is one of those rainy mornings, this is every morning in West Virginia. In Summer the hills are so many shades of green from the variety of trees and in the Autumn the colors of those leaves are glorious.
There was an article in the paper about the wonderful family that re-united after a 6-year separation (divorce) with the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast Elopement Package. There is a video embedded in the article that shows what we do for our elopements. We did a “laid-back-flannel” and this more formal and if desired, we can do an 18th Century – period clothing available at the Gillum House! Here is the link Charleston Gazette-Mail
April 9, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast:
Today Carrie and Brannan remarried with the Elopement Package of the Gillum house Bed & Breakfast. Carrie’s cousin is a wedding photographer and took photos as Preacher Beecher performed the ceremony at the 1778 Levi Shinn Log House in Shinnston. Also attending were Doug and Kenny from the Charleston Gazette! I asked Carrie, “Why Wednesday, April 9 instead of on a weekend?” Her reply was awesome! Carrie said, “Today is my Dad’s birthday and we are close. And he has always looked on my husband as a son.”
So Carrie and Brannan celebrate their special day with, Happy Birthday, Dad!
March 11, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: Several years ago on a visit to the Penny Pincher (a store that is no longer in Shinnston – sigh!) I found a small bubblegum machine bank. It was unique (to me anyway) so I bought it. I even found gumballs, so I put it on the mantle in the Gillum Room.
When it was filled and ready for guests, we decided that any money in the bubblegum machine would go to the Lord’s Pantry Food Bank. Last week, noticing it was down a bit on gumballs, I took it apart to empty and refill.
After being there for a few years, I found $2.00 in coin. So Sunday, I went to church and handed over the $2.00 (plus a bit more) to Sandra Haggerty, the Director of the Lord’s Pantry who also serves as the organist at First United Methodist Church on Rebecca Street in Shinnston.
The bubblegum machine is back on the mantle waiting got guests who may want to take a nostalgia trip back to the days of getting a gumball from the machine. (Oh, as an FYI, it takes all coins – from pennies to quarters.)
March 5, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: Tom and Debbie McKee stopped in today to see the progress on the artwork for the All Brands Motorcycle Event at McKee Sky Ranch July 24-27, 2014 in Terra Alta, West Virginia. They were very pleased with the progress – which is not ready for prime time at this point. We thought we would let you peek into the studio of artist john Panek as he works on their painting (in creative stage right now). Naturally the innkeeper had to kibitz.
February 1, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: February 1 is a date that is both a dreaded remembrance and a celebration.
Allow me to explain. On February 1, 1964, John Panek came home from work to such a beautifully unusual afternoon that he fired up his BSA Gold Star and went for a ride. He rode into Deer Grove Forest Preserve near Arlington Heights, Illinois to keep his appointment with destiny. As he was leaving Deer Grove to go home, he apparently rode over some ice covered by leaves. The motorcycle went off the road, threw him into a tree, and bounced back to where it could be seen from the road. The girlfriend of one of his friends (a nurse’s aide) just happened to be driving through Deer Grove recognized the motorcycle, stopped, and found him. Another friend motorcycled by and when she told him it was John, raced to the nearest phone.
We have not yet finished with destiny. As he was wheeled into the hospital, his family doctor was leaving and recognized John on the gurney, turned around, and took over his care. As they were wheeling him to surgery to explore why his blood pressure kept sinking, another doctor told the surgeon to look for a slit as well as a cut in the artery as he had just read about that in the Journal. And it WAS a slit that was fixed so he did not lose his leg.
364 days and several surgeries later, John went home from the hospital.
Today, we went out to celebrate that 50 years ago destiny decided that John Panek would survive. Today he is a well-known artist in the world of Classic Vintage Motorcycles. His work can be seen at his web site http://www.classic-cycle-art.com/main/Portfolio.html. Destiny was not done with him – yet.
January 10, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston: We are sincerely sorry to hear of the water problems in the service area of West Virginia American Water in the 9 counties affected.
Shinnston has good water available and 3 guestrooms open for this weekend at a special Water Escape Getaway for all West Virginia residents served by West Virginia American Water Company. We are offering our rooms with our usual scrumptious breakfasts at a 15% discount.
Shinnston is less than 7 miles west of I-79 at the Jerry Dove Drive Exit #124. Enjoy the West Fork River Rail-Trail, covered bridges, wineries, or just relax. We have LOTS of good water.
We hope everything gets back to normal soon for those unable to use their water.
January 5, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: There are several dates that cause nostalgia for John and Kathleen Panek at 35 Walnut Street in Shinnston, West Virginia. The first is not s specific date, but a day annually. The other two are dates. January 6 is the last of the series of three.
The first date is a day rather than date. I have no remembrance of the actual date – it was the day after Thanksgiving in 1994. That was the day we closed on the house at 35 Walnut Street, Shinnston, West Virginia. It was an exciting and joyful day. Kathleen was FINALLY going to be going back to West Virginia for good! After the closing, a load of boxes of books and other non-essentials for day-to-day living were unloaded, sleeping bags rolled out on the living room floor, and the first night was spent in our new house. Since Kathleen’s company basically shut down for the week between Christmas and New Years, a return with more boxes, cleaning supplies, and the ever-present sleeping bags returned to ready the house for the moving van and New Year’s Eve was a return to Illinois.
Then on January 4, 1995, the moving van pulled up to 3024 Wakefield Drive to load up. The temperature was 6 degrees F. All the big, heavy, and hard to handle things were loaded into the van. (Kathleen would ride her motorcycle to West Virginia in July.)
Two days later, January 6, 1995, the moving van pulled up to 35 Walnut Street. The temperature was in the low 40s. Sweaters and sweatshirts were all that was needed – it felt like Spring had arrived! Toward the end of the unloading, the mover’s helper stood in the doorway of the van and looked around. “Yep”, he said to us as we stood on the spacious porch, “yep, you have moved to Mayberry.” He had no idea how right he was.
We moved to a town (small city actually) where GOD, Country, and family (in that order) reign. We do not have Barney Fife any longer (our Police Department is quite professional I am pleased to say), our Fire Department is volunteer but rated higher than some paid Fire Departments, and although there have been many improvements to the city, it still retains its Mayberry atmosphere. And John, who was born and raised in Chicago and its suburbs, is now a convert – he loves West Virginia almost as much as Kathleen does!
We invite you to come see what drew Kathleen back after a LONG 24 years in the exciting (?) Chicagoland. The beautiful hills and valleys, the history, the (Oh PLEASE do not let her get started extolling West Virginia – you will be here all night!) covered bridges, the……..
November 25, 2013 – Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: This morning the third pair of Elf Socks was finished. Much as we would like to make more, Thanksgiving dinner followed by an Elopement Package this Saturday are intruding. I took these photos this morning because “By Jove, oy think oy’ve got it!” These turned out the most like the tube socks they are meant to be. And I propped one up against a Gillum House mug (by Riffle Pottery) to show their size. I hope Burke’s Mommy likes them.
November 24, 2013 – Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: Years ago I told Larry Riffle of Riffle Pottery in Cowen, West Virginia I wanted a coffee cup with a handle big enough for a MAN to grab and large enough for that man to know he had a cup of coffee! This was important because we roast the green coffee beans so our guests get the freshest coffee off the plantation. Our guests choose the country they want for their morning coffee. He came through with a great mug – it holds 16 ounces of coffee! (Some hold more because each one is “thrown” so no two are alike and each mug is signed by Larry.)
Friday, November 22, 2013 we met Larry to take delivery of the latest order of mugs. That was great – however, Larry had a surprise for me! He made some Gillum House napkin rings for me. It is going to be awesome to set the table with Gillum House mugs and matching napkin rings.
November 23, 2013 – Gillum House Bed & Breakfast: An oft-visiting guest recently became a Grandmother of a preemie. She knows I teach a basic (emphasis on basic) knitting class. So she e-mails that her daughter cannot find booties small enough, would I knit some. So I went online looking for a pattern. I found one for preemie tube socks. Now I admit, the instructions saying to put 13 stitches on each needle and knit in the round confused me. 26 stitches, even on a 12 inch circular needle would be difficult. So I just did 26 stitches on a regular 305 knitting needle and proceeded. Getting near the bottom with the first attempt, I get down to the 5 stitches and then realize – it is 5 stitches PER NEEDLE. So the first attempt is pointy toes.
Then I tried again and stopped at 10 stitches. It still does not look like the picture that went with the instructions. But I will be trying again until I get it right. Meanwhile, these will be sent to Grandma to forward to the new Mommy. I hope they help.
A former guest has told me I should call them “Elf Socks”. I like that!!
Gillum House Bed & Breakfast November 17, 2013: A group of concerned citizens of the area were troubled when it was realized how bad was the condition of the old Shinn Cemetery behind the old Shinnston High School. The cemetery holds a lot of memories for the former students of the high school. Although it is now owned by the Shinnston Historical Association, there is neither manpower nor dollars available in the organization to do the upkeep needed. It was suggested that the people who were concerned about it, take on the upkeep. And that is just what they decided to do. However, upkeep requires money so a novel way to raise funds was decided upon.
Seeing how it is nearing the Christmas Season, Christmas trees could be decorated, donated, and raffled off.
Shabby Chic Sisters have decorated a tree that is on display in their store on Pike Street in Shinnston. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $1 each Tuesdays thru Saturday until 5 P.M. December 13, 2013.
Gillum House Bed & Breakfast has also decorated and donated a tree. The Gillum House Tree can be seen at the Shinnston Administrative Building (Water Office) on Main Street Monday thru Friday 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. where raffle tickets may be purchased for $1 each. The drawing for this tree will also take place at Shabby Chic Sisters 5:00 P.M. December 13, 2013.