Friday, October 16, 2015

Loretta Lynn's Ranch

Nan and I crossed the Ohio River into Tennessee at the little Cave-in-Rock ferry crossing.
Only a few minutes wait for the free ferry that operates all day long. 
Our next stop was at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN. The campground there accepts Passport America discounts, which helps make the tour cost affordable. This is one of Loretta's former tour buses on display outside the museum. There is another one in the museum that you can tour the inside of.
The museum alone is worth the price of the tour. It is full of personal, family, and career memorabilia and Loretta has hand written notes on much of it explaining its significance. No photos were allowed inside the buildings, so you'll have to go see for yourself.
There is also a replica of Loretta Lynn's childhood home which also has some original objects such as the butter churn that Loretta used doing one of her childhood chores. A dress that belonged to her sister and was worn by Cissy Spacek in the movie is hanging on a clothesline inside. 
The original home is still standing and can be toured in its original location in Butcher Holler. I believe the guide said Loretta's brother owns that home and opens it for tours.
There is also a replica of Coal Mine No. 5, the mine where her father worked, and later her husband, Mooney.
Loretta and her husband Mooney bought the property in the 1970s. It included a circa 1890s plantation house and this old mill and dam, both of which they restored.

Across from the mill you can see Loretta's plantation home.
The tour includes the inside of the house...still furnished with its original furnishings and 1970s style decor, although a more modern kitchen was added on.
Loretta Lynn still lives on the property in a smaller house she had built in back of this one. 
She still does about 70 tours a year, and in fact had just returned from tours in Oklahoma and Washington, DC.
We enter the house through the door on the left.
Behind the small building straight ahead is Loretta's current residence, built atop a filled-in swimming pool. Her current tour bus was parked outside which is how the tour staff knows when she's home.
The tour includes all the downstairs rooms and is accompanied by personal stories about how it was decorated and what life was like within. 
View from the front porch.
The horse barn. The Ranch operates as a Dude Ranch with trail rides, and also offers kayak tours of the river. There are hiking trails too.
As we were leaving, we could get a better view of the newer house where Loretta lives when she is here. It was a fun tour, and well worth the visit.

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