The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

May 10, 2009

Shinnston’s Gillum House offers guests simple service



After the guests finished breakfast and my room was nearly clean, Kathleen and I cleared a patch of table and finally sat down to a cold, but delicious breakfast.

John began his work of cleaning the kitchen, which he does every day. The Gillum House doesn’t have a dishwasher. I immediately decided he earns his keep, too.

Kathleen said John’s company in Illinois began to downsize in the early 1990s, and so she worked two jobs while he went to art school to fulfill one of his long-time dreams. John painted nearly all the art in The Gillum House, and it is for sale.

Kathleen said John told her he knew she wouldn’t be happy living anywhere but her home state of West Virginia once their children were grown. So after weeks of looking, she stepped inside The Gillum House and just knew it would make her bed-and-breakfast dream come true.

“I had this little concern in the back of my brain ... that the dream would be better than reality,” Kathleen said. “But I couldn’t have dreamed this good in my wildest dreams.”

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