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Popodicon kitchen gets update

ISSUED: 12 September 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Popodicon, the historic home that serves as President Mary J.C. Hendrix’s business residence, has a newly renovated catering kitchen thanks to some generous donors and efforts by the Friends of Popodicon (FOP), a group dedicated to restoring the house. FOP members and Shepherd alumni Pattie and Paul Wilmoth led the effort to update the kitchen and adjoining laundry and powder rooms.

The kitchen, which was last renovated in the early 1980s, had apartment-size ovens, a sink that was too small, and a refrigerator with limited space. The complete makeover included new flooring that extends into the other two rooms, cabinetry, granite countertops, and professional-grade appliances, which Shepherd’s catering department helped choose.

“I very much enjoyed helping with the renovation because I got to pick out things and colors and talk to the appliance people,” Pattie said. “Paul got the headaches!”

“It was a challenge working in an older house and pulling things together,” Paul added.

New fixtures were installed in the powder room. The old kitchen cabinets and refrigerator were reused in the laundry room. The Wilmoths, who retired in December 2017, were owners of a custom homebuilding business, which gave them the expertise needed to spearhead the renovation.

“We’d been running the business for years and had not really had the time or the opportunity to do things for Shepherd,” Paul said. “Now that we’re retired, we have more opportunity.”

Meanwhile, work continues outside the house to improve the gardens and create a pollinator waystation.

“The new design, by James Dillon, of Native Havens, is centered on bees, butterflies, birds, and native species,” said Elisabeth Staro, who is heading up the garden restoration. “The goal is to nurture nature through all seasons.”

The next phase of the garden restoration will include creating a rain garden on the north side of the house. This will help to cover the HVAC units and manage runoff from the roof.

The Friends of Popodicon are accepting help and donations to complete the kitchen renovation and continue the garden restoration. The house and grounds are available for events such as weddings, parties, and receptions.

For information on the continued need for donations and to make a gift, contact Monica Lingenfelter, executive vice president, Shepherd University Foundation, at or 304-876-5397, or visit To learn more about reserving Popodicon for an event, contact Sonya Sholley, executive assistant to the president, at or 304-876-5107.

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