Refurbished Johnny Cash Boyhood Home to Open
Johnny Cash fans have flocked to his childhood home in the Arkansas Delta for decades, but renovations on the modest white house have just been completed.
Passersby have often stopped to take their photo by the historic home in Dyess, Ark., which was the inspiration for songs like 'Pickin’ Time' and 'Five Feet High and Rising.' But post-restoration, fans will now get to take a closer look at the home, returned as closely as possible to how it would have looked when Cash was young, with every item approved by Cash's siblings Tommy and Joanne Cash.
“We’ve got everything just as it was,” Joanne Cash tells the New York Times. “It took a lot of hard work. It’s been very emotional for me.”
One notable piece of memorabilia is the Cash family's piano, the only original artifact left in the house.
“We used to gather around that piano at night and sing gospel for an hour,” Joanne says. “That was our entertainment.”
Dyess' is a town of 410 people with a struggling economy that they're hoping to boost with the opening of the house and accompanying Dyess Colony Museum, which is housed in the original New Deal administration building. Arkansas State University bought both of the structures in 2009. A combined tour of the two sites is $10, with half of the proceeds going to the university and half going to the town.
“We want them to spend money here, or we haven’t really accomplished something for the city,” Dyess Mayor Larry Sims says of his hopes for a tourism industry in town.
More information about Dyess and the Cash home can be found here.