A hollow lifestyle

Blogger note: While the byline says I shot the photos for this story, Allie Garza and I worked on it together. Since I don’t have her side of it, I’m just showing you what I was able to get. I’ll explain the run in we had with our separate stories later, but for now, just take this as it is. One story by Allie and me, and my photos.


Story by Allie Garza & Brad Luttrell
Photos by Brad Luttrell

Across the gravel, left at the rock and about another mile sits an empty cabin in Butcher Hollow. Car after car kicks up dust and leaves, all passing in and out, never stopping to see anything more than an empty cabin.

Loretta Lynn’s childhood home in Butcher Hollow brings tourist from all over the world. She decided to leave but her brother, Herman Webb, found himself coming back to carry on with what she left behind.


The life Lynn has abandoned is what Webb loves to spend his time telling others about. Webb’s stories are more about the lifestyle that he and his sister lived than stories about Lynn. He is still feeding horses, spending time with his dogs and sitting on the front porch where his parents swung years ago.


Not all of Webb’s family enjoys the hollow-lifestyle as much as he does. A cousin who moved off and told Webb he didn’t care if he ever saw his hometown in Paintsville ever again.

“I don’t care who you are,” Webb said. “Your home is your home.”

For those who don’t deem Butcher Hollow as home, the cabin still preserves a dying lifestyle. Some repeatedly return to the cabin, looking for memories in their own life.


Matilda Thacker, 80, explored the cabin finding items like the antique sewing machine and a tobacco canister that was exactly like the one her “daddy” used when she was younger.



The cabin usually comes to a close as the sun begins to set at the other end of the hollow. No more tours are given and the gate is locked. Herman Webb feeds his horses and heads home for the night, dogs closely behind. As the last light in the hollow disappears, so do the visitors.

As a once popular lifestyle fades, more and more are leaving the mining region. No matter how many people come in and out the sun will always rise at the end of the hollow, first lighting an empty little cabin.





One Response to “A hollow lifestyle”

  1. We made a great team, pal. Your pictures turned out really well, and I think we worked great together. I glad we were able to work on this together…I couldn’t have been partnered with a better person.

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