Come enjoy a warm Midwestern welcome in Jacksonville, IL, an inviting Midwestern town filled with historic charm and architectural character. Glenn, Casey (Valerie) and Gwenn are delighted to share their historic home and gardens with their B&B guests. This is their 12th year at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast, Jacksonville’s only full-service B&B. Gwenn says, “We are very much at home in Jacksonville, our adopted hometown, and we love welcoming guests and guiding them as they explore the area. We are very active in our community and are familiar with all the local historic sites, shops, and restaurants. We are happy to share our expertise with recommendations and tips to help develop travel itineraries. We are pleased make your dinner reservations, offer insider secrets and discounts, obtain event tickets, and secure private tours at our local historic sites.”
Meet Your Blessings Family
Our Innkeeper Team
For Gwenn, innkeeping is “living the dream.” She was reading books, taking training, and saving pictures and ideas long before establishing Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast the year she turned 50. She loves welcoming guests into her home and the Jacksonville community. She is passionate about entertaining, cooking, decorating, and gardening. She loves “living in the big house” and sharing it with her guests – especially the front porch, her happy place.
Glenn is a very hard worker who doesn’t ever sit still for long. His expertise in lawn care and landscaping is a real asset to the bed and breakfast. He’s known for his terrific Chicago-style Waffles and baked apples that we serve for guest breakfasts, too! From waffles to landscaping, home repairs and maintenance, he does it all!
Casey is the Assistant Innkeeper, giving welcome tours and serving breakfast. When you read our online reviews, you’ll find that Casey has received many sweet messages from past guests. One thing you might not notice at first glance: Casey is deaf, but hears well when wearing hearing aids. Casey is bilingual and is happy to communicate with you via speech or in American Sign Language (ASL) and his dry wit keeps guests entertained.
Kelly is our general assistant, community ambassador, and lead housekeeper. She consults with Gwenn, designing décor, specials and packages, and setting operational procedures. Kelly has a real knack for “shopping the attic” and styling our décor each season. She is committed to our high service standards and really has caught the vision for what we want to accomplish at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast. Kelly is a valued member of our service team, and she does a great job representing our B&B at community events.
Lynsey is a part-time housekeeper that became known to us when her family relocated to Jacksonville from their home area in Southern Illinois. Her husband’s job transferred, so he stayed at Blessings while they were looking for a home in Jacksonville. Lynsey often visited and she offered to work here once they were settled in. Her skills include hospitality, an eye for detail in housekeeping, and a love of cooking. She has stepped in as sous chef and has served breakfast for guests and special events.
We are thrilled to announce that the owner of Jacksonville’s Juniper by Hannah Pate is offering luxury en suite massage services at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast. Hannah is a dual licensed and board certified Massage Therapist and Esthetician. She has been a massage therapist for 11 years. Trained in 5-star hospitality and Forbes Standards for 5-star service, Hannah worked for the 5-star company The Four Seasons for five years. Hannah enjoys travel, history, antiques and old architecture. She says, “I have a passion for caregiving through intuitive and therapeutic touch and hospitality.”
Mary is our terrific Associate Innkeeper. Her hospitality background, along with her community connections, make her a great asset to Blessings on State! She is fond of our local historic sites, especially the Governor Duncan Mansion, “for its location and dedication of volunteers.” She has promoted growth in our Fourth of July Lawn and Porch Party on an annual basis. Mary’s very warm and welcoming and is a terrific cook. Our guests love her!
Sam is Glenn’s outdoor assistant, and his duties range from planting and maintaining plants, to lawn and garden clean up, to walking the dog! He has demonstrated a willingness to learn and always seeks to do a good job. He is cool as a cucumber, even when faced with Gwenn’s unbridled excitement and enthusiasm. Still in high school, Sam balances his work at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast with his classes and other activities.
- Who is a published author? Gwenn and Casey collaborated on a book about child abuse and it’s available at the B&B and through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and other book sellers.
- Which staff have Food Handler certification? We all do! Kelly and Gwenn also hold Food Manager certification.
- Who is Iris? Iris is our fun little Chiweenie dog that Casey adopted after working in a no-kill shelter one summer. Now two, Iris resides in the innkeeper quarters, and she’s happy as can be when guests want to meet her.
- Who can communicate with American Sign Language (ASL)? We all are familiar with basic signs, Casey and Lynsey have studied ASL and Sam is currently taking an ASL class.
- Who is good at both salsa dancing and scuba diving? Isn’t that a fun combination? Hannah, our massage therapist, is scuba dive certified through PADI and worked hard to master New York style salsa dancing.
- Who is a Jacksonville native? Mary was born in Jacksonville and has spent most of her life here. The rest of us were born elsewhere, but all of us know and love Jacksonville and we have many friends and community partners in the Jacksonville area. Look for our Staff Picks and other recommendations in our Things to Do section.