Johnny Cash’s Childhood Home Is Now on the National Register of Historic Places
Cash lived in the newly landmarked home, located in Dyess, Ark., as a young child through his high school years; the house is listed on the registry as "Farm No. 266, Johnny Cash Boyhood Home." Cash fans will recognize the setting from two of his songs, "Five Feet High and Rising" and "Pickin' Time," both of which talk about his childhood on the farm.
Cash's childhood home is a five-room farmhouse; it was built in 1934 by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, as part of the Dyess Resettlement Colony. The push for the home to be recognized on the National Register of Historic Places was initiated by Arkansas State University, which has spent $575,000 on the purchase and restoration of the home.
The university first submitted the location for recognition on the National Register of Historic Places in December, then re-submitted in April after the first application was turned down.
"People who visit this site typically leave with the comment, 'Now we understand where his music came from,'" says Ruth Hawkins, Arkansas Sate University's Heritage Sites director. "Clearly, who Johnny Cash became as a person and as a musician was shaped by his time in Dyess."
After growing in Dyess, Cash joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950; he was honorably discharged in 1954, after which he moved to Memphis, Tenn. Dyess is located about 40 miles north of Memphis, just over the Arkansas-Tennessee state line.
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