Above is a photo of Webb’s Grocery (aka Mine No. 5 Store) located in Van Lear, Kentucky. I can hear you saying “Where?” and “Why are you showing me this particular store?”
However, had I said Butcher Holler, Kentucky chances are you might know where that is due to it being the home place of Loretta Lynn. Her maiden name was Webb and today the Store remains in her family as her brother Herman owns it and cousin Mack runs it (click here.)
The store was originally constructed by the Consolidated Coal Company in 1918. Hence the name Company Store.
As for how the town became named Van Lear, that too stems from the Coal Company which at the time was headed up by a Marylander Van Lear Black. Black was quite the entrepreneur as in addition to coal mining he had success as a banker, a publisher (The Baltimore Sun) and in the aviation industry. At the time of his death in 1930, when he drowned after falling off of his yacht, he was the wealthiest man in Maryland.
But let’s get back to Webb’s Store. (Sure seems like I’m always going back to the Store doesn’t it?) I found several videos featuring it because it is just up the road from Loretta’s homeplace. In fact, some of the furniture still in Loretta’s house/museum was originally purchased from the Store.
Here is a good video on the homeplace and the store. If you are more interested in seeing what the inside of Webb’s Store looks like go to the 18:20 mark in the following video: