‘Loretta Lynn Lake’: Petition pushes for Paintsville Lake to memorialize the Coal Miner’s Daughter

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Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 9:08 PM EST
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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Two months after the death of country music queen Loretta Lynn, fans and family are asking the state to recognize the sensation’s reach by renaming a state park in her honor.

A petition which kicked off two months ago on Change.org, started by fan Carla Engle, is now picking up steam after Lynn’s daughter Peggy Marchetti shared the idea with her Facebook followers.

The petition is addressed to Gov. Andy Beshear, looking for 25,000 signatures, asking the state to rename Paintsville Lake State Park to Loretta Lynn State Park. Supporters say the renaming is a great idea, keeping Lynn’s memory alive in her home community that she “put on the map.”

“I’ve seen more people for it than I have against it. And I think the family would be proud. Loretta would be honored,” said Loretta’s cousin and home place groundskeeper Mack Lowe. “They can relate to Loretta. You know, a lot of people had a father that worked and provided for family- just like that song, ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter.’ When Loretta sang that song, a lot of people related to it. That’s what a lot of people tell me that some here.”

He said the tourism aspect of changing the name is also a good move, making the area more intriguing to visitors.

“You could always tell people that you’re from down in Eastern Kentucky where the Loretta Lynn lake is,” said Lowe. ““I think it would be a big boost for tourism. You know, people would come from all over- like they already do. They stay in the hotels in Paintsville. They buy gas in Paintsville. You know, they eat over in Paintsville.”

Many locals have shared their disdain for the petition, saying they believe the name should remain. Some said they do not believe Lynn has had a significant impact on the area, while others say the true way to honor her is to better develop the Butcher Hollow area.

Still, Lynn’s daughter believes it would be an honor to see the name change, marking the memory of a woman who loved her home. By Monday, more than 16,000 people agreed.

“She’s given a voice to those coal miners that have just, you know, have worked so hard- to the rural women- just so much,” said Marchetti. ”Mom would just be so tickled about this she’d be dancing in the mountain Laurel.”

You can find the petition here.