kpanek on September 9th, 2019

September 9, 2019 Shinnston, West Virginia: As I look out my office door window, I see the berry bushes that delineate our side yard. Blackberries along the alley, blueberry bushes across the front, and red raspberries along the entrance steps and the sidewalk to the ramp at the back deck.

The blackberries pickedoneevening

Every evening the end of June to the middle of August I was picking a strainer full of blackberries, some almost as big as my thumb.

Blackberry almostasbig asmy thumb

In July I started picking red raspberries. I was able to have fresh berries in the fruit dishes for guests and also freeze some for the winter use. The red raspberries are giving me a second crop now – most likely to end in another week or so,

Red raspberries pickedone evening

Sadly, the blueberries have yet to produce a crop, but hope springs eternal. I also planted a kiwi bush 2-years ago and hope for kiwi berries in 2020. This Spring I planted a peach tree in the side yard – and it is still alive! In fact, it now has a lot of leaves. Just hoping to live long enough to get a peach from it.

Gillum House Bed & Breakfast likes to serve our guests fresh fruit from our own property. Come visit Shinnston and Mountaineer Country for Gillum House fresh-roasted coffee from the country of your choice, homemade baked goods, and our own fresh fruit.

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kpanek on September 9th, 2019

Shinnston September 9, 2019:  Just discovered this was never published – it was in the draft file. It is too good to leave there. Something from the visit of these three gentlemen is about to help 5 ladies coming to ride the North Bend Rail-Trail this September. Thank you, Gentlemen, for more than you know.

The North Bend Rail-Trails has had almost $2-million in upgrades since 2017 on the eastern portion of the Rail-Trail.

Shinnston, West Virginia, June 22, 2017: Gillum House Bed & Breakfast is centrally located for the Rail-Trail Enthusiast. Less than 50 feet from the front door is the 17-mile West Fork River Rail-Trail between Shinnston and Fairmont, WV. From the Fairmont end of trail, traverse city streets to the MCPARC Trail (Zand tunnel) to Prickett’;s Fort, cross the road and pick up the MonTrails to Morgantown and beyond into Pennsylvania. A few miles from the Gillum House is the 72-mile North Bend Rail-Trail. We have shuttled guests to the North Bend Eastern Trailhead in Wolf Summit.

Gentlemen ready to ride the North Bend Rail-Trail.

These gentlemen stayed at Gillum House the night before their trail ride. And a week later returned for a night before wending their way to their homes. They had a wonderful ride (their words). One of the gentlemen had me speechless when he said to me, “We have stayed in B & Bs all over the world, and you are in the top 5%.” Thank you, Sir.

kpanek on June 27th, 2019

Shinnston, West Virginia always starts the Fourth of July Independence celebrations on July 1 (we do not want confusion as to WHEN in Shinnston).

This year, Brass Rhythm & Sax Orchestra will be the opening act, taking the stage at 7:00 P.M. This Jazz Orchestra is a 16-piece jazz band comprised of several members of the Shinnston Community Band.

At approximately 8:00 P.M., the Shinnston community Band will once again perform the Independence Concert. (Come hear the innkeeper of Gillum House Bed & Breakfast on bass drum and gong.) We have an excellent program of music.

Fireworks follows as the Shinnston Community Band plays the final strains of Starts & Stripes Forever.

kpanek on May 8th, 2019

A few years ago, the City of Shinnston and the Gillum House partnered with the West Virginia Division of Tourism to make a video. Of course a few changes have been made at the Gillum House since then, the main one regarding this viseo is that the Gillum Room now has a king-size bed to go with the lovely large private, ensuite bathroom. This was posted on YouTube. Enjoy the video

kpanek on May 2nd, 2019

Mother’s Day 2019 is upon us. Gillum House Bed & Breakfast looks forward to Mother’s Day for several reasons.

It is a time when all the kids call to say hello, and many of the grandchildren too. But, it a day when we in West Virginia remember Anna Jarvis. Anna WHO??

Anna Jarvis was born in Webster, Virginia, near the City of Grafton, in 1864. The family attended church at the St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton. Anna’s Mother started a group called, The Mother’s Club. After her Mother died, Anna worked tirelessly to create a day honoring Mothers.

The sactuary of the International Mother's Day Shrine, looking at the altar.
International Mother’s Day Shrine

The first Mother’s Day Service was held at St. Andrews Methodist Church May 10, 1908 and it was proclaimed The International Mother’s Day Shrine May 15, 1962.

During the Battle of Philippi on June 3, 1861, General George McClellan made his headquarters in the Jarvis house. The room that was his headquarters was restored as such when the Jarvis House was restored. On June 20, 1863, Webster and Grafton became towns in West Virginia.

Anna Jarvis House, Webster, WV sits on a small hill and had flags from the porch.
Anna Jarvis House, Webster, WV

On Saturday, May 11, 2019, there will be tours of the Jarvis House, a program at 2:00 P.M., crafters, refreshments, and two raffles.

There will be a Mother’s Day Program at the International Mother’s Day Shrine in Grafton on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 2:00 P.M.

Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, located 25 miles from Webster and Grafton, offers a Mother’s Day Package each year that includes the tour of the Jarvis House for Mom as a gift of the Gillum House.

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kpanek on June 6th, 2018

Shinnston, West Virginia June 6, 2018: Gillum House is doing a video.  Thought you might like to see coffee being poured at breakfast. This was our fresh-roasted, fresh-ground and perked New Guinea coffee. Choose YOUR coffee from our in-house coffee list to be roasted for YOUR breakfast.

We will post the video in a few weeks.

pouring morning coffee

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kpanek on May 30th, 2018

Shinnston, West Virginia, May 30, 2018: Kathleen has been owner/Host of Gillum House Bed & Breakfast since it opened as a B & B in 1996. We thought it was time to tell how she learned to cook for you, her guests.

Growing up in Brooke County West Virginia, we did not live in a town or city. We had an 8-party phone line with a Follansbee phone number – all I ever knew our number to be was R-4, my Granny and Pappy had J-3. Our mailing address was R.D.#3, Wellsburg. And we went to elementary school at Colliers Grade School in Colliers, WV.

We had chickens – so there was no shortage of eggs. We had cows – so there was no shortage of milk, cream, or butter (and many hours were spent lifting the dasher up and down in that wooden churn). We made our bread, cakes, and pastries. Store-bought was not done.  Mom said, here is a cookbook. Have at it. She showed me how to make bread, cakes, cookies, pastries, and how to cook good food.

Found a couple of photos recently of life on the farm at about age 2 & about age 6. It was a great place to grow up and taught many skills that come in handy today.


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kpanek on February 6th, 2018

September 9, Shinnston: I realized today that I did not come back with photos of the completed new office.  I was able to move in in March of 2018. I discovered the heater seen in the new photo is necessary for a comfortable winter. This WAS originally part of the front porch after all.

I am using a unit built by my late husband for his art studio as a desk – I just have not gotten around to looking for a “real” desk yet. This has been a great place for me.  The blue cloth (part of our display of his paintings at events) on one window and the CUBS flag (a treasure of John’s) help keep the glare of the morning sun off the computer monitor in the mornings. The red hat – his BSA Owners Club hat – shades my eyes in the mornings.

I now have a wonderful view of what is happening around me AND as one gentleman in town walks past each morning to go to his car, he waves – so now I am being taken care of. People will check if I am not visible for several days. You have to love a small city!

Compare the photos below to see the finished office.

February, 2018: As was true in much of the East, we spent 2 weeks trying to stay warm. AND we managed to keep the waterlines from freezing.

Fortunately we had 2 out of 3 weeks in January that Mother Nature decided to warm West Virginia up a bit, weeks we did not have to worry about freezing lines. Those were weeks we had City duties with Conferences. Your innkeeper also serves the City of Shinnston as City Clerk.

Gillum House is in change at this time. The former workshop is in the process of becoming our new office. The insulation is in and the walls are up. The ceiling will go in tomorrow. Then comes the taping, carpet, outlets, lights, and light switches, and a phone line before we can move in. But Step #1 is in progress. Woohoo!

Step #1 is a thing of beauty. Here are photos of December 2017 to the change today, February 6, 2018. Then Jan. 5, 2018 all the wall stripped and insulation in. February 6, 2018 sheets of insulation were put up and then the walls.

Workshop to Office

Dec. 2017 after wiring





Starting to look like an Office

The Walls are in 2-6-18. Ceiling tomorrow


Workshop to Office- panelling stripped

2-5-18 insulation in and walls stripped



The completed Office

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kpanek on October 9th, 2017

Shinnston, WV, October 9, 2017: B & Bs For Vets will once again happen in honor of Veterans Day November 11. This program of bed & breakfasts providing a minimum of 1 room totally free for 1 night to say Thank You to both the Veteran and the unsung hero (the spouse) went nationwide (and international) in 2010. BBCanada started the program in Canada in 2011.

This actually started at Gillum House Bed & Breakfast in Shinnston in 2008 with 9 other members of West Virginia Bed & Breakfast Association joining in in 2009. Gillum House provides 2 rooms for 3 nights (November 9-11) totally free each year to Veterans. This year our Veterans are from West Virginia and Ohio.

B & Bs For Vets logo

Veterans should go to to find participating B & Bs.

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kpanek on August 20th, 2017

August 20, 2017 Shinnston, West Virginia: It is that time of year again! The sun is out nice and bright, the air is still, and it is HOT! And as I look out the window of my office, I can see it is once again almost time for Frontier Days.

Frontier Days always starts at Gillum House on Sunday, with the arrival of the first of the rides. The Bears are almost always the first one in.

Bears Carnival Ride

By morning there will be more Myers Amusements rides and trailers in front of Gillum House with Kiddie Rides arriving across Davis Court in Casey’s parking lot. By Monday evening just about everything will be here and the setting up will begin. By Tuesday evening it will just about all be set up. They will spend Wednesday making certain everything is tightened up and safe for the opening Wednesday evening.

Kids rides in Casey's Parking lot




Parades: Thursday night at 7:00 PM is the Fireman’s Parade; Friday is the Tractor Show; Saturday the Parade is at 11:00 AM. Shinnston loves a Parade.

Arts & Crafts at the Shinnston Volunteer Fire Department starting at 9 AM

Entertainment? Frontier Days has a little entertainment lined up.

Wednesday: Olivia Gianettino. Then Aristotle Jones

Thursday: Dave & Sugar Karaoke.  Then the Davisson Brothers.

Friday: Silas Powell and the Family Band. Then Dark Matter

Saturday: Gene Shelton at Noon; Nick Davisson at 4:00; Last Year’s Model at 6:30; Union Sound Treaty with Owen Schmitt at 8:00


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kpanek on May 26th, 2017

We have upgraded and fixed up inside the Gillum House over the years. We decided it was time to improve the outside.

We removed the hedges and planted blueberries across the front of the yard in October 2015. Eventually they will grow to form a “hedge”. We may be able to harvest a few berries this year (if the birds do not beat us to them) as 5 of the 6 have berries on them.

Along the side of the yard, we have planted blackberry bushes with the hope of them forming the “hedge”. 3 of them fell victim to the weed whacker last year, but they have been replaced. We hope to harvest a few blackberries this year as several of the plants are “in flower”.

We now have chairs and a fire pit in the back yard for the enjoyment of our guests. We have 2 chairs for now, but will be adding more soon (we do have folding chairs available now if there are more than 2 wishing to sit around the fire pit). We hope our guests enjoy the new addition – the fire pit.

Fire pit looking north

Facing north

Chair at fire pit facing south

Facing south




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kpanek on March 12th, 2017

Shinnston, West Virginia March 12, 2017: I must admit that we have no golf course in Shinnston – but we are working on putting a Frisbee golf course on the rail-trail. However, the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast is located to be accessible to many public golf courses. Many organizations in the area hold golf tournaments as fundraisers also.

I will be pleased to make appointments for tee times for our guests and to serve breakfast accordingly. Here is the list with number of holes, greens fees, and distance from the Gillum House.

Course Holes Cost City Public Miles
Apple Valley Country Club 9 $34 Fairmont x 10
Tygart Lakes Public Golf Course 18 $26-33 Grafton x 15
Paradise Lake Golf Course 9 $15 – 18 Morgantown x 36
Lakeview Golf Course (Lakeview) 18 $49-69 Morgantown x 41
Mountainview Golf Course (Lakeview) 18 $30-40 Morgantown x 41
Bel Meadow Country Club 18 $25-35 Mount Clare x 13
Lake Floyd Golf Club 9 $17-19 Bristol x 16.5
Barbour Country Club 9 $20 Philippi x 21
Meadow Ponds 18 $15-27 Cassville x 23
Deerfield Golf Course 18 $18.75 – 25 Weston x 26.5


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kpanek on March 5th, 2017

Shinnston, West Virginia March 4, 2017: Spring is on its way! March literally roared into Shinnston with high winds and driving rain. March 1 and 2 were cold, wind, and rain. Yesterday, Ma Nature just could not make up her mind what she wanted to do. It was definitely a “But first…..” day for her.

I had some errands to run and the sun was shining. Perfect! I stopped in to Vincent Lumber (also the hardware store for Shinnston before ACE came in 2016) to buy a new switch plate as the one from about 1952 had broken. Then over to Family Dollar, oh, the beautiful sunshine! Fifteen minutes later (a LONG line at the checkout), I came out in a mini blizzard. On to the grocery, and before I had left the parking lot to turn onto US Rt. 19, the sun was shining again.

West Fork River Rail-Trail

West Fork River Rail-Trail

Today is beautiful sunshine and warming temperatures, a perfect day for a bike ride or a hike on the West Fork River Rail-Trail. I can actually see the rail-trail from my office. We have several rail-trails in the area – all are scenic and offer a great ride or hike.

Soon the leaves will be budding and flowers will be blooming. The berry bushes along the rail-trail will also bloom to become the delicious berries waiting to be picked.

Soon we will be planting the first crops at the Shinnston Community Garden for the Lord’s Pantry. Come visit Shinnston and see it for yourself.


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kpanek on January 1st, 2017

December 31, 2016 Shinnston, West Virginia: As 2016 draws to a close, we at the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast thank all our guests over the last 20 years for making it possible for us to give you Shinnston as a place to visit, site-see, hike, bike, elope, or just relax. We hope to welcome guests for many years to come as the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast celebrates its 21st year in July 2017.

We were sad to have to say goodbye to our equestrian guests, but so happy to have been privileged to welcome you and your beautiful horses over the years. Punjab will miss all the carrots he got to enjoy.

We look forward to seeing our motorcycle friends (and many new motorcycle friends) in the years to come. And if you get electric motorcycles, we have the charger ready for you.

Speaking of chargers, Our Tesla charger and her cousin the Universal charger are waiting to welcome every make of electric car on the road. They miss you.

So as we say goodbye to 2016, we welcome 2017 with a wish for health, wealth, happiness, but most of all love for all our past and future guests in 2017. Tiny Tim said it best- May GOD Bless us- Everyone!

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kpanek on December 14th, 2016

December 14, 2016 Shinnston, West Virginia: The owner/host of the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast is aware that some people do not have family to gather with at Christmas.

We are open Christmas and New Year’s holidays and we invite our registered guests who are here during the holidays to join us if they wish for Christmas Dinner (served between Noon and 1 PM) or New Year’s Dinner (served later) to join us for dinner (no, there is no charge for dinner, just join us) with our friends. Call or book online to reserve your room.

Our Christmas Tree