Meet the Innkeepers
oth Jim and Kim were born around the same area in Pennsylvania.
However, Jim’s family moved north to Michigan and Kim’s family moved
south to Maryland when they were both toddlers. Kim continued to live
in Maryland and Jim continued to live in Michigan until the early 1990’s
when he ventured out to accept a job in Northern Virginia for a small Software Company.
A few years later they met at that same company, married and moved to Southern Maryland.
Jim is presently a Software Architect for Mantech International and Kim is a Technical
Recruiter for Northrop Grumman Corporation. Jim enjoys fine art painting and has been
painting since he was 5 year’s old. He proudly displays some of his works at the Inn.
He hopes to have more time in the future to paint something other than the house.
Kim enjoys rubber stamping/card making and plans to sell some of her works in the Inn’s gift shop.
Running the B & B fulfills their passions for old architecture, entertaining, cooking and baking.
Together they have put their heart into renovating the Inn to the Victorian period. They have also
developed their own signature breakfast dishes, some of which include Bananas Foster Coffee Cake and
Cherry Cheesecake Scones.
uying this house was quite an adventure for Jim & Kim. Married for five years in 1999 and living in the
Maryland Suburbs of the Washington DC metro area, they decided to spend their anniversary away from the city
at a Bed & Breakfast in the Skyline Drive area of Virginia. The stay at the inn was wonderful and it started
Kim thinking about owning their own inn. Of course, Jim at the time thought she was crazy (and he may still).
However, they returned to the same inn for their sixth anniversary and rented the Carriage House. It was then
that Kim knew that this was really a dream she wanted to pursue with Jim at her side.
They talked at length about the type of inn they would like, the geographic area, and the timeframe in which
everything could reasonably occur. With two boys in high school it seemed to make sense to wait until both boys
graduated. In the meantime, they needed to make a number of decisions. The main concern was location, location,
location. A business will live and die by its location. Jim came up with the idea of Wyoming. It was beautiful
and picturesque and “Cheyenne” seemed to have the small town appeal they wanted. So in the spring of 2001 they
booked a week at a Bed and Breakfast about 20 miles outside of Cheyenne (and in Wyoming everything is 20 miles
from everything). They both realized that the “western” style really didn’t appeal to them. The isolation and
the fact that you could be snowed in for weeks was a huge concern. So after numerous discussions they decided
against Wyoming. But the trip was not a total waste of time. At checkout Kim noticed a pile of Bed and Breakfast
Journals. The innkeeper was nice enough to part with a couple of copies. Kim read them cover to cover and once home filled out a subscription card.
A few months went by when Kim noticed one of the Bed and Breakfast Journals had a listing for an inn for sale
in mid-Ohio. Now mid-Ohio was really an option they could live with. It was close enough to drive to from the
DC area where Kim’s family lived and just south of Toledo, Ohio where Jim’s family lived. It was also near Mid-Ohio
Raceway (both are big open wheeled race fans). So they booked a weekend in August of 2001 at the Bed and Breakfast
with the intent of considering it for purchase and attending the race at Mid-Ohio. After a long drive and an impending
cookout, Jim decided it would be nice to unwind with a beer. However, beer was not available. So Jim decided that they
needed to drive into “town” and find beer and sodas.
So they ventured out to find a convenience store. Jim stopped at a local market and went in to buy beer and sodas.
The girl at the counter was not familiar with the type of beer Jim wanted and asked if he was from out of town.
They began a conversation that included that he was in town to look at purchasing a B&B. She indicated that
there was a really nice Victorian B&B about 10 miles down the road. Jim asked what they were doing with the
place and she told him she thought it was for sale. Jim came back to the car and asked Kim if she would like to
“take a ride.” They still had a few hours before the cookout. So they ventured onward. Kim asked if Jim knew
anything about the house. He really didn’t. But they drove on anyway.
They slowed to look at every house along the way that looked like a Victorian. But none of them seemed to fit the
description. About 10 miles down the road (just as the counter girl had indicated) they came into Mt. Gilead. It
was a quaint little town. Just up ahead on the right hand side stood a beautiful, old blue and white Victorian
with a sign in the front “Holiday House Victorian Bed and Breakfast” marked “closed” and a for sale sign. Jim stopped
the car in the middle of the road to admire the house. (This could never occur in the DC Metro area). They pulled
into the driveway. They rang the doorbell and then both looked in the windows. No one seemed to be home. However,
when they came around the side of the house, Mary Kay Robins was sitting on the porch. They began talking to her
about the house. However, she wouldn’t show them because her realtor was out of town in Virginia (of all places).
So they made arrangements to come back Sunday after the race at Mid-Ohio.
Sunday morning they headed for Mid-Ohio Raceway. They had general admission tickets so they could sit anywhere
they wanted. Jim picked a spot that he was familiar with from attending a previous race. They set up their
chairs and Jim went off to take pictures. About 5 minutes later a couple (Kevin and Suzie Harper) came to sit
right next to Kim. They struck up a conversation. Within a few minutes Kim mentioned that they were looking at
Bed and Breakfast near by. Suzie indicated that there was a really nice B&B in Mt. Gilead belonging to her
mother. Out of about 70,000 people on a 2 ½ mile road course they were sitting next to the only daughter of
Mary Kay Robins. Figure the odds of that. At that moment they knew this was “the house.”
After the race Suzie called her mom and made sure the arrangements had been made for the realtor to show them
the house. Everything was in place. After the showing, they felt this house was everything they had been looking
for. On the way home to Maryland (about an 8 hour drive), they had plenty of time to talk about the house and their
future plans. Jim thought they could pull it off financially, if they continued working in DC for a while. They
came up with a plan, found a mortgage, and decided to buy the house. Mary Kay invited them to come back to
Mt. Gilead for Labor Day weekend to stay at the house and get a feel for the house, the town and the people.
At the end of the trip, they put a contract on the house and purchased it in October of 2001.