Loretta Lynn’s childhood home in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky

image from: http://gadling.com/ by Dave Seminara

image from: http://gadling.com/ by Dave Seminara

Well, I was born’d a coal miner’s daughter

In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler

Loretta Lynn, the beloved American country crooner was indeed a coal miner’s daughter from a place called Butcher Hollow in rural Kentucky.

If you want to hear the full song, here it is.

Loretta Lynn

Butcher Hollow is located in Johnson County Kentucky, just outside the town of Van Lear, which was constructed by the Consolidation Coal Company in the early part of the 20th century.

Butcher Hollow is pronounced by locals as “Butcher Holl-er“, giving it that down-home twang. Butcher is the surname of Loretta Lynn’s maternal family.

image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org, by Nicolai Edgar Andersen

image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org, by Nicolai Edgar Andersen

Loretta Lynn Webb was born in 1932 and lived her early years in this small home in Butcher Hollow with her parents and 8 siblings.

As I was reading about Loretta’s childhood home, I discovered that the Kentucky shack was also the childhood home of singer/musicians Crystal Gayle, Peggy Sue, and Jay Lee Webb.

What?!  I had NO IDEA that Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle were sisters. I probably can’t even name a Crystal Gayle song, but I was in love with her in the 1980’s – that long, long  never-ending hair!

Crystal Gayle

I always thought she was Canadian.  In any case, this little cabin was home to all these very musical siblings, the most famous of which is Loretta Lynn.

Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn

Since 1986, one of Loretta’s non-famous siblings – Herman Webb – has been giving tours of the family homestead for $5 a person. If you make the trip down twisting Kentucky country side roads, you will get a personalized welcome and lots of sentimental stories from Herman, a living treasure of Americana.

image from: http://gadling.com/ by Dave Seminara

image from: http://gadling.com/ by Dave Seminara

The house dates back to 1901. I have read conflicting accounts of whether Loretta was actually born in this house or not. But we do know that she was the second born of the 8 siblings.

I’m not sure what the square footage of this cabin is, but it is on the small side, and there only 3 rooms downstairs and 2 upstairs. Picturing a family of 10 in total living here is very humbling.

image from: www.examiner.com

image from: www.examiner.com

Have a look inside…

image from: backtraxamerica.com

image from: backtraxamerica.com

The house is furnished with actually family pieces.

As you can see in these photos, thousands of visitors to the home have left their autograph on the walls for posterity.

image from: http://backtraxamerica.com/children/a-coal-miners-son/

image from: http://backtraxamerica.com/children/a-coal-miners-son/

image from: http://backtraxamerica.com/children/a-coal-miners-son/

image from: http://backtraxamerica.com/children/a-coal-miners-son/

Pictured below in the kitchen is the official tour guide – one of Loretta’s brothers – Mr. Herman Webb.

image from: http://gadling.com/

image from: http://gadling.com/

This is the place where all the fried chicken went down. (Who remembers country cooking with Crisco & Loretta?)

Loretta Lynn Crisco

After the mines closed down, the family moved on and the cabin was occupied by a cousin until the 1970’s. It had no electricity or running water and the “facilities” are an outhouse out back.

image from: http://gadling.com/

image from: http://gadling.com/

The walls are filled with memorabilia and family mementos.

image from: www.lorettalynnfan.net

image from: www.lorettalynnfan.net

It’s fascinating to see the real-life spaces where famous people grew up – and the actual furniture they used. (Another humble abode of a famous person that I covered is Richard Nixon’s childhood home.)

image from: www.flickr.com

image from: www.flickr.com

If you want to read a really great piece written by someone who actually toured Butcher Hollow cabin, I highly recommend this article on Gadling.com. It really gives the flavor and thrill of touring the old shack if you are unable to visit in person.

Image from: www.jotravels.com

Image from: www.jotravels.com

I think I saw the bio-pic movie Coal Miner’s Daughter when I was younger, but I don’t remember much of it. Time to dust off the old VHS. I can’t get the song out of my head!

 

Sources:

http://gadling.com/2013/06/22/an-unforgettable-tour-of-loretta-lynns-childhood-home-in-butche/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butcher_Hollow,_Kentucky

http://backtraxamerica.com/children/a-coal-miners-son/

http://www.jotravels.com/lorettalynn/

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