The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

May 10, 2009

Shinnston’s Gillum House offers guests simple service

SHINNSTON — Kathleen Panek’s dream of operating a bed and breakfast started with a simple trip with her husband and four of their six children in the early 1980s.

“It was dark, and we went past a sign that said ‘Millstone Inn Bed and Breakfast,’” she said. “I said to John, ‘If they have availability, I want to stay there.’”

Kathleen said the family “rolled out” when they checked out because of the elaborate breakfast they had been served. She left with a new idea rolling through her head.

“I said, ‘I can do that,’ and John just said, ‘There has to be a hook,’” she said. “We went to seminars, and we immediately found the hook — cleaning.”

For this installment of “Working in West Virginia,” I traveled to Shinnston to work at a bed and breakfast. My work included a stay at The Gillum House, but I think I earned my keep.

Learning the Business

Kathleen said she never was a June Cleaver kind of mother, and she isn’t really a June Cleaver kind of innkeeper, either.

Kathleen said when she started The Gillum House in 1996, she had more time than money, so she attended every workshop and conference she could.

She thought The Gillum House was ready, but three weeks prior to her potential start date, she attended a Mountain Association of Bed and Breakfasts conference. She learned so much at the conference that she delayed her opening by two months, she said.

Kathleen was marketing chairwoman of the MABB from 1999 until August 2008 and also was elected to Shinnston City Council. She serves on the zoning commission, building commission, hosts the tourist information center for Shinnston, serves as president of the Garden Club and is part of the OnTrac Community team. She was named the Small Business Association’s home-based business champion of the year in 2006.

Text Only
West Virginia
  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Feds commit to health studies on spilled chemical

    After largely dismissing the possibility of long-term health problems, federal officials will conduct more studies on chemicals that spilled into West Virginia’s largest drinking water supply in January.
    In the next two months, federal health officials are also heading back to West Virginia.

    July 24, 2014

  • Park Service assesses impact of W.Va. attractions

    Four National Park Service attractions in West Virginia drew a total of 1.5 million visitors last year.

    July 23, 2014

  • This weekend's 'Dirty Girl' race canceled

    Organizers of a Charleston running event that was canceled for this weekend says it won’t issue refunds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Reporter heard truck backfiring, not gunshot

    Similar sounds in different circumstances create different reactions. That is so for WVVA reporter Annie Moore, who last Monday told police someone fired a gun at her while she was shooting file footage in the area of a recent murder.

    July 19, 2014

  • Cornhole champions being decided in Charleston

    Cornhole, the strange-sounding game made popular in backyards and at football tailgate parties, is taking on a serious side this week.
    The American Cornhole Organization will crown its world champions as about 380 competitors from 17 states vie for $10,000 in prize money in singles and doubles events.

    July 19, 2014

  • Multi-state distracted driving enforcement planned

    Law enforcement agencies in six states plan participate in a weeklong campaign targeting distracted driving.

    July 18, 2014

  • Female guard accused of having sex with juvenile inmate

    A West Virginia Division of Corrections officer has been charged with having sexual contact with a female juvenile inmate at the Lincoln Detention Center in Wheeling.

    July 18, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads