Butcher Hollow, Kentucky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 37°46′41″N 82°43′01″W / 37.778°N 82.717°W / 37.778; -82.717

The childhood home of Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle, June 2014.

Butcher Hollow (also known as Butcher Holler) is a coal-mining community located in Johnson County, Kentucky, USA.[1] Its claim to fame is being the birthplace of country music legend Loretta Lynn, who paid tribute to the community in the song "Coal Miner's Daughter", which begins with the lyrics

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

In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler

Later in the song, she also mentions Van Lear, the larger community in which Butcher Hollow is located:

My daddy worked all night in the Van Lear coal mines.

All day long in the fields a-hoein corn

as well as on a recent album, Van Lear Rose.[2]

Butcher Hollow took the name of a nearby valley which was named for the local Butcher family.[3] Butcher Hollow is a part of the community of Van Lear, which was constructed by the Consolidation Coal Company in the early part of the 20th century. Van Lear was named for Van Lear Black, one of the company's directors. Although most of Butcher Hollow lies outside of the old Van Lear city limits, the mailing address of those who have lived there has been Van Lear since the establishment of the Van Lear post office in 1909. Butcher Hollow is not an independent town or village in its own right.


Hundreds of tourists visit the town of Van Lear each year to see the childhood home of Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, and her siblings. Herman Webb, one of Lynn's brothers, gives tours of the house for a fee of five dollars. Although Butcher Hollow is often listed as a separate town, it is clear those listing it this way do not understand that a hollow in an Eastern Kentucky community would be referred to as a street or avenue if it were located in a city. Thus, Butcher Hollow's address would be Butcher Hollow, Van Lear, Johnson County, Kentucky.

Many story tellers will say that a holler is an area where you have to holler to communicate with your nearest neighbor, meaning how deep in the country you are. In actuality, it simply means an area that has been hollowed-out to build houses, barns etc. The rural road going to the area would also be called the same.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] USGS
  2. ^ Butcher Hollow byways.org. Retrieved on 2010-01-04
  3. ^ Blevins, Danny K. (20 February 2008). Van Lear. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-1-4396-3534-6.