Meet Your Innkeepers
Glenn, Casey (Valerie) and I are delighted to share our historic home and gardens with our B&B guests. We are entering our 12th year at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast, Jacksonville’s only full-service Bed & Breakfast. Jacksonville is a wonderful inviting community, and we have adopted it as our new hometown.
Warm Midwestern Welcome
Our local friends and community partners welcome our guests as they mix and mingle, shop and dine. Stop in at the Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for all the latest events and tour information. Tell them Blessings sent you! We love to hear our guests share their stories of chatting with their friends about their stay with us, sometimes old friends they’ve come to town to visit and sometimes new friends they’ve met while out shopping or dining!
Experience Our Jacksonville
Jacksonville is an inviting Midwestern town filled with historic charm and architectural character. We are very much at home here and we love welcoming guests to our Bed & Breakfast and guiding them as they explore the Jacksonville 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 to provide recommendations and help develop travel itineraries. Let us use our connections to give you insider tips and discounts, make dinner reservations, obtain event tickets, and secure private tours at our local historic sites. We know people!
Whether you are planning a night on the town, a romantic getaway, a business trip, or a family reunion, Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast is the premier choice for lodging in the Jacksonville and Springfield Illinois area. Experience the charm and ambiance of an intimate getaway for two, use it as a quiet workplace, or join friends and family for a week-long reunion at Blessings on State. We’re just a one tank trip from many Midwestern towns.
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 & Breakfast. A passerby once recognized the meticulously cared-for lawn and Blessings on State’s curb appeal, noting that it should be pictured in a magazine! (And now it has been!) Glenn is happy to share his knowledge with our guests, answering questions about plants we’re using and offering gardening tips. Our outdoor workers look up to him and learn many skills though on-the-job training. 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! Though innkeeping might not be his first choice for a vocation, he lovingly supports Gwenn as she makes her dream come true as an innkeeper.
“We believe it is the Lord’s blessing that has allowed us to have this opportunity, and we want to be a blessing to others.”
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. A published author and public speaker, 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. A fan of every season, she has plans to publish blog or video posts titled, “A View from my Porch.” Whether enjoying iced tea and cookies with summertime guests or cuddling under blankets to watch it snow, she considers porch sittin’ on the front wraparound porch a year-round activity.
Gwenn’s passion for innkeeping shines through in her commitment to providing exceptional service. Every detail matters, from building relationships with her guests to the casually elegant furnishings, to luxurious linens, to preparing fresh multi-course gourmet breakfasts, to high standards for daily housekeeping. Involved in the community, Gwenn is a terrific Concierge, sharing her recommendations for places to visit, special events and restaurants. Her connections with her community partners pay off in discounts and other incentives that she shares with her guests.
By the grace of God, Gwenn has overcome a number of challenges in life, and lives each day to the fullest. She continually looks for ways to make Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast “just a little bit better than it was yesterday,” and she looks forward to welcoming you as her guest.
“Come as visitors, leave as friends.”
Valerie is the Assistant Innkeeper, giving welcome tours and serving breakfast. When you read our online reviews, you’ll find that Valerie has received many sweet messages from past guests. One thing you might not notice at first glance: Valerie is deaf but hears well when wearing hearing aids. She is bilingual and is happy to communicate with you in American Sign Language (ASL).
An avid reader and excellent student, she loves to tell jokes and play tricks and she’s very popular with our guests. She’s been known to play Scrabble with our guests, but don’t challenge her to chess unless you don’t mind a challenge! She’d also be happy to introduce you to the newest member of our family, her dog Iris. Although Iris is not allowed in the guest areas of our home, you can arrange to meet her outside when she’s being walked or in our personal living quarters. She has already enjoyed getting to know some of our guests!
We're Thankful for "Good Help"!
Mary is our terrific Associate Innkeeper. Her hospitality background, along with her community connections, make her a great asset to Blessings on State! 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!
Kelly is our general assistant, community ambassador, housekeeper and a key member of the Blessings family. Kelly consults with Gwenn, making plans for seasonal décor, specials and packages and other operating plans. She has a real knack for “shopping the attic” and styling our décor each season. With a vintage mansion like this one, it takes a lot of work to keep it polished and presentable and we’re very thankful for Kelly’s attention to detail in managing housekeeping. She is committed to our high service standards and really has caught the vision for what we want to accomplish at Blessings on State. 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 worker 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.
It's All About Teamwork
We have a really terrific support team at Blessings on State! Mary is the world’s best inn sitter, and – don’t tell anyone – I think she’d do a great job when other innkeepers need to get away.
Mary, Kelly and Lynsey attended a recent Midwest Innkeeping Conference with me. I asked them to go to different workshops so that I could gather more information, and they were great to take notes and come home and train me! I went in with my shopping list that included upgrading to Turkish Towels robes in our suites. One afternoon after workshops, I stopped by Kelly and Lynsey’s room to see if they wanted to shop with me. No thanks, but they told me what they’d found when they went through the exhibit hall earlier. Down I went, trying to remember the details they’d shared with me. No need… when I walked up, Twyla assured me that “my girls” had already been down there and she knew exactly what I wanted. Know what? She was right! It’s so wonderful to have assistants that will take the initiative and back me up and fill in and support our work at Blessings on State!