You've heard the name in her famous, autobiographical song, "Coal Miner's Daughter" - but did you know that Loretta Lynn's birthplace, Butcher Hollow, is a real locale you can visit in Kentucky?
Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn sings it as "Butcher Holler," pronounced as any true resident of the region might do, but the name as written is "Butcher Hollow" - a little neighborhood located just outside of Van Lear, Kentucky.
Butcher Hollow is what remains of a once-thriving coal-mining community located in Johnson County, Kentucky, just south of Paintsville, in Van Lear. The otherwise unremarkable "holler" is now famous for the celebrity it spawned - not just Loretta Lynn but also her siblings Crystal Gayle, Peggy Sue Webb, and brother Jay Lee Webb, all of whom achieved notable success in the country-music business.
Of course, the big name is Loretta Lynn's and it is her legacy that brings most visitors out to remote Butcher Hollow: From U.S. 23 take Highway 321 to Kentucky 1107, to Kentucky 302 to Miller Creek Road - you want to keep an eye out for Webb Grocery: 1917 Millers Creek Rd, Van Lear, KY.
Webb Grocery has a fine collection of Loretta Lynn memorabilia and it is from here that Loretta's brother, Herman Webb, can be contacted for a tour of the old, family home in Butcher Hollow. Yes, you read that right - the tours of the home are typically conducted by Loretta Lynn's brother.
No Graceland or other gussied up roadside attraction, Butcher Hollow is sure to delight true fans with its un-varnished, down-home reality: a tiny, old, wooden cabin perched on a hilltop at the end of a dirt lane. The house is filled with period antiques the family actually used and the walls are covered with family photos and music-business memorabilia.
A typical tour includes lots of stories and background information about the history of Butcher Hollow, the Webb Family home, and what it was like when its famous residents were growing up there.
You'd be hard pressed to find a richer, more authentic slice of true Americana than Butcher Hollow - The Birthplace of Loretta Lynn.