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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May 30, 2014 Gillum House Bed &Breakfast Shinnston, West Virginia: We are going to combine Reasons 7 and 8 because they are on the same topic but VERY different. Both are wonderful twisty, turny, and hilly roads with very different scenery. Motorcycle and sports cars will absolutely LOVE these roads. Gillum House had day-trip routings for both of these routes. Come see them for yourself!

#7 – US RT 50 – This route is full of hills, a turn called the Horseshoe and another called the Hairpin (definitely a KYA turn), Cool Springs – a great stop for lunch, stretch your legs, and see lots of old farm and other equipment that has delighted all ages for generations, the smallest church in the Lower 48, and many points of interest. It is also the route to Blackwater Falls State Park and the famously beautiful waterfalls.

Cool Springs

Cool Springs, WV









Smallest Church

Smallest Church in Lower 48










Twisty road

Twists on US Rte. 50










#8 – US RT 250 – US Rt. 250 is a marvelously twisty and hilly route – perfect for motorcycles and sports cars! As one “serious” BMW motorcyclist stated referring to a Gillum House Bed & Breakfast routing using US Rt. 250 and WV Rt. 20, “That is a perfect mix of scenic and technical riding.” In the autumn it is a route of West Virginia wearing her “Sunday Go-To-Meeting” colors in all her glory!

View from Rte 250

Looking across the ridges on US Rte. 250 curves,horseshoe,hairpin,smallest church

Coming down the hils

West Virginia wears her Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Finery

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kpanek on May 29th, 2014

May 29, 2014 Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, West Virginia: Shinnston is a small city that is quite unusual – all the religions work together. Reason #9 is so important to the people of Shinnston, that there is always someone stepping up to fill the gaps.

#9 – Chapel of Perpetual AdorationShinnston is a City of approximately 2250, a small city that has never had “religious wars”. In 1998 St Ann’s Catholic Church created BL. Margaret of Castello Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, the only chapel of its kind in the State of West Virginia. Keeping the vigil are residents of many Faiths from the entire area/region. It is open 24/7 to any and all who wish to pray, meditate, or just have a quiet moment.

Chapel of Perpetual Adoration - Shinnston

Chapel of Perpetual Adoration

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kpanek on May 28th, 2014

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.     

Monongah Monument

San Giovanni in Fiore – Monument to the Monongah Mining disaster

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..







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kpanek on May 27th, 2014

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.

Bice-Ferguson Nuseum

Bice-Ferguson Museum

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.

Anna Jarvis House

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,

Birthplace of West Virginia

West Virginia 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.

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kpanek on May 26th, 2014

May 26, 2014 – Gillum House, Shinnston, WV: #13 – FortsPrickett’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.

Prickett's Fort

Prickett’s Fort

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.

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