Cash’s Boyhood Home Joins National Register of Historic Places

Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Ark. has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The five-room farmhouse was built in 1934 in the Dyess Colony as part of president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs to support farming families who lost their farms during the Great Depression.

In 1935, Cash’s parents Ray and Carrie Cash and their five children were among 500 families approved to move into the colony. Cash lived there from age three through high school, and at least two of his songs “Five Feet High and Rising” about the 1937 flood and “Pickin’ Time” are said to have been inspired by his childhood memories in Dyess.

The house was valued at $1,000 when the Cash family moved in. Additionally, each of the colony’s families received up to 40 acres of farmland, a 16-by-24-foot wooden barn with 10-foot sheds on either side, a smokehouse, a privy and a chicken house.

Arkansas State University currently owns the property, and $575,000 was spent to buy, restore, furnish and landscape it. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the home wouldn’t have qualified for the National Register until after restorations were complete in 2014.

Tickets for the three-day Johnny Cash Heritage Festival starting Oct. 18 in Dyess are on sale through the festival’s website.

By staff

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