Getty images | YouTube/Tennessee Crossroads
Source: Getty images | YouTube/Tennessee Crossroads

Inside Loretta Lynn's Massive Ranch Where Her Husband Stayed with Other Women While She Was Touring

Esther NJeri
May 02, 2022
06:30 P.M.
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Loretta Lynn became an internationally successful musician with multiple gold albums throughout her career. However, her personal life was anything to write home about. She suffered heartbreak in her marriage but stuck it up, and she has no regrets.

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Loretta Lynn was born in the coal-mining hills of Kentucky to a poverty-stricken family and was the second born of eight siblings born to her mother, Clara Marie, and coal miner father, Melvin Theodore "Ted" Webb.

Her family was so poor that her mother would use newspapers and old Sears Roebuck catalogs as wallpaper to keep their house beautiful and warm during winter. At only 15, she married Oliver "Doolittle" Vanetta Lynn.

The parents of Country singer Loretta Lynn, Melvin "Ted" Webb and Clara Marie "Clary" Webb pose for a portrait circa 1930 in Butcher Holler, Kentucky | Source: Getty Images

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SHE STARTED A FAMILY VERY YOUNG

Lynn and Oliver "Doolittle" Vanetta Lynn, then 21, met at a pie social and a month later got married. Soon after, she fell pregnant with their first child, but even as early as then, their marriage was already experiencing trouble. 

She had their first child Betty Sue in 1948, but Oliver was disappointed and upset because he'd wished for a boy. A year later, she became pregnant with her second baby Jack Benny, and by the time she was 20, she had already had four babies.

However, her pregnancy journey was not a park in the park, and being that young did not help her case. Before she had her third child, she had two miscarriages, and the doctors would later discover that she had Rhesus negative blood. 

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Country singer Loretta Lynn poses for a portrait in 1950 in Butcher Holler, Kentucky. | Source: Getty Images

Lynn shared that as much as she loved her children, she wished she did not have them that early. She would later say: "I didn't get to enjoy the first four kids. I had 'em too fast. I was too busy trying to feed 'em and put clothes on 'em."

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Lynn began singing at church at a very young age. Even though she did not sing for a long while afterward, she never lost her love for the craft, and after she had her first four kids, her husband bought her her first guitar. She said of her first song:

"One day, we went fishing. I don't know why I just sat down and wrote a song. But I remember being shocked that those lyrics just came pouring out of me. I wrote my very first lyric when I wrote 'Whispering Sea.'"

Country singer Loretta Lynn poses for a portrait with 3 little boys in circa 1950 in Butcher Holler, Kentucky. | Source: Getty Images

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With her husband's encouragement, she began to perform at local venues, eventually landing a contract with Zero Records. She released her first single, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," in early 1960. 

HER HUSBAND WAS HER HUGEST SUPPORTER

Until today, Lynn credits her music career to Oliver, and rightfully so because besides buying her first guitar, he encouraged her to perform before crowds. He told her:

"You're just as good or better as most of the girls that are singin' and makin' money, so let's make us some money." Biography

Country singer Loretta Lynn and Oliver pose for a portrait with a man in circa 1955 in Butcher Holler, Kentucky. | Source: Getty Images

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He also helped her promote her first single, accompanying her to radio stations in a bid to get some airtime for her song. Lynn says she wouldn't have done it without him:

"And I loved him, and he loved me." 

American country music singer and guitarist Loretta Lynn and her husband Oliver Lynn, Jr. in 1980s. | Source: Getty Images

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In her 1968 single "Fist City," which was later canceled, the singer sang about beating up the women that would often pursue her husband while she was away and would say:

"If you can't fight for your man, he's not worth having." 

A HOUSE ON THE HILL

A view of the main house at The Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee | Source: YouTube/Tennessee Crossroads

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Lynn's bedroom at The Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee | Source: YouTube/Tennessee Crossroads

In 1966, at the height of her career, Lynn and her husband were looking to buy another property when they came across a dilapidated mansion in Hurricane Mill, Tennessee.

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They looked for the owner and found out that they had to buy the entire town to own the house, just like the previous owner had. The property, now known as the Loretta Lynn Ranch, boasts 3500 acres, a mostly-wooded estate in Humphreys County. 

The kitchen at The Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee | Source: YouTube/Tennessee Crossroads

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The estate also features a campground, an event center, and several structures and businesses that merge to make one huge tourist attraction. The ranch has hosted forty amateur national motocross championships.

They have also hosted 38 horseback week-long trail rides, 20 years of off-road motorcycle ride competitions, and numerous jeep events attended by over 3,500 people. 

The avocado-green bathroom at main house of the ranch | Source: YouTube/Tennessee Crossroads

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The main house sits on the hill and is white, with numerous columns running the entire height of the one-story building. The house she now lives in features an avocado green bathroom, and the sitting room is full of memorabilia from her decades-long journey in music. 

The sitting room displays her husband's jeans, shirt, and cowboy hat and her dress on mannequins. A massive portrait of the celebrated singer sits atop the fireplace, while the dining room showcases dark wooden dining furniture, wooden floors, and a beautiful chandelier.

The bathroom features hues and shades of avocado green, while her kitchen is a massive display of wooden cabinetry along most of the walls with a red-tiled backsplash and countertop.

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Her late husband's boots, which he wore when they visited the White House, sit in her jungle-green walled bedroom. The view of the property from her upper story balcony is breathtaking and overlooks other parts of the vast grounds. 

TROUBLE IN PARADISE

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Her husband may have bought her her first guitar and helped launch her music career, but that did not mean their marriage was perfect. Her 48-year- marriage to Oliver was filled with neglect and sometimes even abuse. 

Country singers and sisters Loretta Lynn [Left] and Crystal Gayle flank Loretta's husband Mooney Lynn at a soiree in circa 1976. | Source: Getty Images

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Lynn would disclose in her book "Still Woman Enough" that her husband's sometimes wayward ways inspired some of her songs, such as "Don't Come Home A 'Drinkin'," which was about his love for the bottle, and "Fist Town," about how she would confront women who made passes at her husband. She shared:

"Every song that I wrote, he didn't know which lines were in there for him, but you can bet that half of it was about him. And I could sing it and think, `I've told him that.' It helped my heart to know that I'd said it." 

Lynn was always aware of her husband's philandering ways and would say in her book that he was a womanizer, and in a bit to get her troubles off her chest, she wrote "Fist City."

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Loretta Lynn and husband Oliver Mooney' Lynn, Jr. | Source: Getty Images

The country queen confessed she knew that her husband brought women to their house when she was away. When she'd come back and look at the work she'd done on the wallpapers, paint, and pictures on the walls, all she could think of were the woman that had been there in her absence. She wrote

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"I never felt too comfortable in the house."

Lynn continued making hit music despite her troubles at home and even got inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. However, shortly after, she began cutting back on singing to care for her ailing husband. 

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Unfortunately, Oliver passed on in 1996, and coping with the loss became an arduous task for the singer. She would say that she saw him everywhere and in everything around the house.

WHERE IS LYNN TODAY

Lynn has had over half a century's run with country music, and despite a few health scares here and there, she is enjoying her life, even getting pretend-married to Kid Rock in 2020. She also still hasn't hung her singing coat.

Loretta Lynn performs during the 16th Annual Americana Music Festival & Conference at Ascend Amphitheater on September 19, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Source: Getty Images

Of all her achievements, including the Academy of Country Music and Grammy Awards, among many others, which have earned her the title of "Queen of Country," she is most grateful for her six children and family. 

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