kpanek on November 30th, 2016

Shinnston November 30, 2016: We at the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast personally invite one and all to come to Shinnston, West Virginia, Saturday, December 3, 2016 for the annual Shinnston Christmas Traditions.

The Parade starts at 6 P.M., so get into the City early before traffic is stopped on Pike Street. We have it from good sources that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in Shinnston for the Parade.

This year a tradition is being revived, albeit in a different location, the lighting of the Christmas Tree!

The Shinnston Volunteer Fire Department has acquired a Christmas tree that will be erected on the stage at Pike and Main Streets. It will be lit for the Christmas Season at the end of the Christmas Parade. Christmas Parade Float

Everyone is then invited to the Baptist Lighthouse for the Annual Shinnston Community Band Christmas Concert.  The Shinnston Community Band is a volunteer organization of 65 – 70 musicians from all over north-central West Virginia who come together for the love of making music. We have a lovely program for Shinnston this year. (We say we because this is the last concert season for the innkeeper to play the baritone saxophone – she hopes to find a place in the percussion section in 2017. The baritone sax is being donated to the Shinnston Community Band.)

Shinnston Community Band

IF you miss the Concert Saturday evening, you have one more chance. On Sunday, December 4, the Shinnston Community Band will be performing at the Way of the Holiness Church (off US Rt. 33 East – Fink Run Road exit) near Buckhannon, West Virginia at 3 P.M.

kpanek on September 5th, 2016

September 5, 2016 Shinnston, West Virginia: 

Lincoln NJROTC Color Guard

Lincoln High School NJROTC Nov. 11

We are already in September. Where did the year go? It is time for our Veterans to start looking for and booking their rooms for November 10, 2016.

Bed &Breakfasts around the United States (and BBCanada also) are making a minimum of 1 room available totally FREE OF CHARGE (meaning no minimum stay, no buy one/get one). Just make the reservation as any other guest would – but say B & Bs For Vets – and on arrival when you show Military or Veterans Administration ID, the charge for November 10 disappears.

I admit we do it a bit differently at Gillum House Bed & Breakfast in Shinnston, WV. We provide 2 rooms (so each has a private bathroom – the third room remains vacant) for Veterans for 3 nights, November 9-11, so they can see our West Virginia while here. All three nights are FREE with Military or VA ID. Of course breakfast each morning and routes to see things of interest are included.

We took B & Bs For Vets nationwide in 2010 and BBCanada started theirs in 2011 (we had 11 Canadian B & Bs in 2010). We are proud to say the program is expanding once again. In 2016, BedPosts is sponsoring Thanking Our Forces on 12 November in honor of Remembrance Day – 13 November.

Thanking Our Forces has B & Bs and Guesthouses in England, Scotland, and Wales participating currently. It is truly an International program.

Note to Veterans: Use it. We do not want the rooms to go to waste by being empty.

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kpanek on June 27th, 2016

Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, June 27, 2016: Here is a list of the events in and around Shinnston July thru July 4 – PLUS The Ellis Drive-in will be open with a double feature. Every event on this list is within driving distance of Shinnston.

Friday, July 1
– Fireworks at the Barbour County Fairgrounds at dark
– Fireworks in Bridgeport being set off behind K-Mart at 10 p.m.
– Buckhannon’s 4th of July Celebration at 4 p.m. at Jawbone Park including volleyball, bocce ball and cornhole tournaments along with bounce houses and other activities for kids; Fireworks at dark
Shinnston’s annual Independence Day celebration at Ferguson Park; Bounce houses for kids will begin at 3 p.m., followed by live music at 6 p.m. then a performance by the Shinnston Community Band at 8 p.m. Fireworks will take place at dark.

Shinnston Community Band

Shinnston Community Band Summer Concert

Saturday, July 2
– Celebrate America at the Clarksburg Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will follow the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra’s concert.
– Terra Alta’s Old Fashioned 4th of July in the Park from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
– Independence Day Concert at the Triple S. Harley-Davidson Pavilion in Westover featuring .38 Special with Old Southern Moonshine Revival
– Fireworks at Davis & Elkins College; Music will begin at 8 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m.
– The town of Rivesville in Marion County will hold fireworks at 10 p.m.; Festivities start at 6 p.m. with a band and activities for the kids
– The city of Thomas in Tucker County will hold fireworks at 9 or 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 3
Patriotic Concert at Palatine Park by the Shinnston Community Band at 1 p.m.
– Terra Alta’s Old Fashioned 4th of July in the Park from 10 a.m. to dark; A parade will take place at 5 p.m., followed by a free concert by Cody Wickline of The Voice at 8 p.m. Fireworks will take place at dark.
– Fireworks over Stonewall Jackson Lake at the resort at dark
– Independence Weekend Golf Tournament at 9 a.m. at Stonewall Resort
– Jones Tavern & Grill in Mount Clare will have family day at the golf course with inflatable rides and cartoon characters at 2 p.m. The celebration will end with a band and fireworks show at dark.

Monday, July 4
– Downtown Morgantown Fireworks at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Amphitheatre; Live music begins at 11 a.m. followed by a parade down High Street at 5 p.m. An awards ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. followed by live music and fireworks at 10 p.m.
– The town of Fairview will hold a parade at 10 a.m. and fireworks at 10 p.m.
– Palatine Park in Fairmont will hold fireworks at 10 p.m.
– Terra Alta’s Old Fashioned 4th of  July in the Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
– Doddridge County Parks Community Independence Day Celebration; Bounce houses will be available for kids from noon to 6 p.m., a DJ will be at the pool from 1 to 5 p.m., and fireworks will take place at 10 p.m.

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kpanek on June 24th, 2016

Shinnston, West Virginia, June 24, 2016: Today was the day we photographed the painting of the re-worked and re-matted 1938 Triumph. Resident artist John Panek decided he was not satisfied with the painting and the mat he had used originally. So it came out of the frame and was redone. Today was perfect for photographing. His paintings are on display on the walls of the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast.

1938 Triumph Painting

Saturday, June 25, 2016 is the annual Shinnston Arts Walk. Some of John’s paintings will be displayed for purchase in front of Shabby Chic Sisters in Shinnston from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. At 7:00 PM join us at Ferguson Park for Broadway By Request as the singers perform songs from Broadway as the audience makes requests. Bring a lawn chair – free admission thanks to our sponsors.

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kpanek on March 1st, 2016

March 1, 2016 Shinnston, West Virginia: We are all set for 2016. Last Wednesday the newest coffees arrived. Wednesday evening we took delivery of the West Virginia Maple Syrup. Today we took delivery of West Virginia honey. And we will soon be arranging to pick up another supply of Gillum House mugs.

We get our coffees from Burman Coffee Company. We restocked Maui and Rwanda and now have Zimbabwe and Burundi added to the list of in-house coffees for our guests to choose from. We roast the choices of the guests (IF chosen in advance from the Confirmation Letter with the most current list) which are then fresh-ground and fresh-perked each morning.

coffe beans, honey, and syrup

Fresh supplies for 2016

Last week was the Small Farms Conference in Charleston, West Virginia as well as the West Virginia Bed and Breakfast Association Conference. While there we met up with the good folks from Family Roots Farm in Wellsburg (Brooke County – my home County) to get 6 quarts of West Virginia Maple Syrup to serve with our homemade “from scratch” pancakes. We also bought 6 lbs. of bacon from the Hampshire County High School FFA at the Small Farms Conference Farmer’s Market. (Since we serve generous portions, that will not last very long)



honey & maple syrup

Local honey & Brooke County maple syrup

Today we took delivery of 6 quarts of honey (3 each of Black Locust and Spring Flower) from Rimfire’s Apiary of Clarksburg – very local honey.

And very soon we will arrange a meeting with Larry Riffle (when we are certain the snows are done – Cowen is snow country) of Riffle Pottery to pick up the latest order of Gillum House mugs. Larry throws each one separately so no 2 are exactly alike and he signs each one.

Gillum House Mugs

Gillum House Mugs



The rooms are ready, supplies are stocked. The only thing missing – is YOU!

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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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