Butcher Holler, Paintsville, KY

On the second weekend at Kentucky Mountain Bible College (KMBC), we headed East, toward Paintsville, KY., to see Butcher Holler, the childhood home of country sinnger, Loretta Lynn.
It was Good Friday, and along the way, in front of a church, we saw this reenactment.  Pretty special!  A sign not in the picture reminded us  “Jesus paid it all”

We drove through the town, seeing the Mayo Mansion and church built by John Caldwell Calhoun Mayo, who came to Paintsville to teach, and soon started investing in mineral rights, eventually becoming Kentucky’s wealthiest citizen.  The mansion is now a school.

The church, Mayo Methodist Church, has an organ with more than 1000 pipes, which was donated by his good friend Andrew Carnegie.

We visited the Highway 23 Museum, a tribute to Highway 23, designated National Scenic byway, honoring country music entertainers who were born or lived along Route 23.  


I was amazed at the numerous country music singers who grew up along this highway.



Of the twelve listed country music entertainers who gained fame that we recognized, Billy Ray Cyrus, the Judd’s, Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, and Ricky Skaggs all live in the Nashville area now.  There may even be more!  
It took a while to find the Webb General Store to get a tour of the house where Loretta Lynn grew up. I regret that I have no picture of it.  I was going to get it on the way out, but we left a different way.  It was originally one of the company stores.  We were told if we were lucky, her brother would give the tour.   And we did get him!  Directions:  Go down a narrow but paved road to the fork in the road….. A rock with an arrow and Butcher Hollow written on it guides you to the left.

The house, where the family of 8 lived, is a little way down the road.

We were thrilled to meet Harold.  When Paul and another tourist started looking at the well, he right away started talking about hand digging it, 30 feet down through rock.

He pointed out a tree and a plant that was planted by his momma, back in the 20’s.
The front porch was so welcoming

The inside had a lot of memorabilia and original furniture

Notice all of the signatures of visitors on the wall.

He was such a gracious man and reminded us both of Paul’s dad.

I could have stayed a lot longer visiting with him.

After leaving there, we decided to go to the right of the rock that directed us to the left.  The jeep would not stay on the pavement, but had to follow the dirt roads through the mining area.

The colors in the trees were absolutely beautiful.


Evidence of mining followed the road


The road did eventually lead out to Highway 15…. and back to KMBC

Scenic South Fork River Train Ride / Cumberland Falls State Park

Exploring on the weekends while in Kentucky was a must.

One weekend, we took the 14-mile South Fork Scenic Train ride.  

We started out at Stearns, Kentucky, where the old mining office is now a museum.

The tracks followed the South Fork River,

passed through Barthell, an old mining town, 

before stopping at Blue Heron Mine, now a National Park.  it was abandoned in 1962.

There were several “ghost” buildings we could visit that had displays to commemorate what life in a mining town was like.

The miners had to fight the mining company to get  this bathhouse
Someone else thought April 8 was a good day to get married~
Sand for the mine was stored here.
After the ride, we stayed the night at the lodge in Cumberland Falls State Park.  
A side note:  We are impressed with the state parks we have visited in the south.  All have great amenities and the campgrounds are wonderful; clean, spacious and easy access!
We took the rest of the afternoon and evening to just relax, and sit and read on the deck (didn’t even take a  picture).   It was so peaceful!   The next morning we took a mile hike down to the waterfall before we left.


What a treat! We were even blessed to be able to see the moonbow. It is a rainbow produced by the moon rather than the sun. Cumberland Falls claims to have the only moonbow in the Western Hemisphere.  It only appears under certain conditions, when there is both a cloudless sky and a full moon.  It is not quite as bright as a rainbow, and this was during the day.

 On the way home, we visited the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Corbin, and ate lunch there.

A replica of the first kitchen was on display.  Some of the items were original.
It was a great, relaxing weekend get away.