You Can Visit the Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash
It’s not surprising that Johnny Cash’s boyhood home was humble.
The singer himself stayed true to his modest beginnings and values even as he became one of the best-selling artists in history.
But still, you have to wonder what Johnny Cash’s boyhood home would look like. And what it’d be like to set foot inside.
Well, you can stop imagining and take a look inside for real!
About Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash was a singer-songwriter known for his country, rock, blues, folk, and gospel music. He was also known for highlighting the struggles of oppressed people. He was born into a family of sharecroppers during the Great Depression. From his family, he learned the values of hard work, faith, and humility.
Cash first took these values to the Air Force, where he worked as a Morse code operator intercepting Soviet Army transmissions. He tried other jobs after that, but music was his passion.
In 1955, the influential rock label Sun Records signed Cash. He began releasing some of his best-known songs like “Ring of Fire” and “I Walk the Line.” As Cash’s profile grew, he committed to using his fame for good. Many of his songs celebrate the working man. He also recorded an album about the unfair treatment of Native Americans.
Two of his most important albums were the live concerts he did in Quentin and Folsom prisons. He wished to acknowledge the humanity of the incarcerated people.
As Cash aged, he stayed in touch with youthful styles, covering bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden. But he still made gospel music and lived with its values. By the end of his life, Cash was adored for his life musings as much as for his songs.
Cash died of complications from diabetes in 2003. He passed just a few months after his wife and musical partner June Carter Cash died.
Where Is Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home?
Johnny Cash’s boyhood home is in Dyess, Arkansas. Dyess Colony was established in 1934 as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The goal was to offer poor white families the opportunity to start over and work the land they might own one day.
Can I Visit Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home?
Yes, you can! It’s open to the public for $10, and they offer guided tours. His house includes personal artifacts, and many visitors leave struck by the hard-scrabble roots Cash overcame.
Johnny Cash’s boyhood home is a ranch-style house with muted colors and shutters. Inside, you can see the bedroom Cash shared with his brothers, the family piano, and a lot of welcoming wood paneling.
Arkansas State University began renovating the house in 2011 and committed to an authentic restoration. In fact, the Cash family donated many items.
Workers also removed wallpaper to reveal the plain wood that was there when Cash lived there.
Can I Visit Johnny Cash’s Grave?
Yes. Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, are buried together in Tennessee. They’re interred at the Hendersonville Memorial Gardens at 353 E. Main St. in Hendersonville.
The graves themselves are relatively modest, consisting mainly of plaques and flowers.
Where Is the Johnny Cash Museum?
The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, has the most extensive collection of Cash memorabilia.
And, as a matter of fact, the museum is frequently rated the #1 music museum in the world. General admission is $22.95.
Best Hikes Near Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home
Craighead Lake Loop (Jonesboro, Arkansas)
Jonesboro is about an hour northwest of Johnny Cash’s boyhood home. However, it is home to the best hike around.
The Craighead Lake Loop is a 2.4-mile loop. Bordering the lake, it’s a flat trail suitable for all skill levels. In addition, there are various activity stations such as workout machines, kids’ play areas, and picnic tables along the trail.
Dogs are permitted, and reviewers say this hike is perfect for dogs.
Woodland Trail Three-Mile Loop (Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park)
The Woodland Trail Three-Mile Loop is near Memphis. Like the Craighead Loop trail, this one offers activities along the three miles of trails, and reviewers report it’s also a favorite of their dogs.
The trail is rated moderate and has a dirt surface. If hikers start on the left side, it’s more strenuous and provides a more significant workout. Either side will get your heart pumping, though.
Best Camping Near Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home
Craighead Forest Park
The Craighead Forest Park has 41 RV sites, which are all gravel. Reviewers note that this campground is clean, quiet, safe, and has friendly owners. Tent camping is also available.
They have partial hookups (electric and water) at all sites. In addition, the RV park has showers, a dump station, a picnic area, and an outdoor play area.
Rates range from $10-$20.
Pro Tip: Looking for other places to stay while exploring Tennessee? Check out these 7 Best RV Parks in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tom Sawyer’s RV Park
Tom Sawyer’s RV Park offers 100 RV sites along the Mississippi River, perfect for watching the moon on the water. This campground is consistently reported to be well-maintained, clean, and friendly. They have full hookups and WiFi.
Rates depend on the site location and whether you back into sites or pull-thru. Nightly rates range from $32-$50.
Is a Trip to Johnny Cash’s Boyhood Home Worth It?
Anything related to Johnny Cash is worth it.
Seriously, yes. Johnny Cash’s community had such a peculiar history. It’s eye-opening to not only hear about it but to see the poverty in which Cash grew up. We also commend Arkansas State University for its restoration work.
They went the extra mile to ensure the house captured the same time and spirit as when it sheltered Johnny Cash.
It’d be fun to pair it with a trip to the Johnny Cash museum so you can see different parts of his life. Or, you could just put At Folsom Prison on your earbuds and go for a hike.
Have you visited any Johnny Cash historical sites?
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