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Johnny Cash in the backyard of the Boyhood Home
Johnny Cash Visits his Boyhood Home

Background

The restored Johnny Cash Boyhood Home opened to the public in August 2014, along with exhibits in the historic Dyess Colony Administration Building that focus on development of the colony, lifestyles of typical colonists, and the impact of growing up in Dyess on Johnny Cash and his music.  In addition, the former colony Theatre/Pop Shop opened in 2016 as a Visitors Center and historic markers were placed around town for a driving tour of former colony sites. 

The former Dyess Colony was one of the nation’s earliest and largest agricultural resettlement communities under the New Deal. Three-year-old Johnny Cash and his family were among the 500 destitute farm families given the chance for a new start in life through this federal program.

Each of the colony families recruited to Dyess was provided with approximately 20 acres, along with a house, barn, smokehouse, chicken coop and privy.  All that remains today of the Cash farmstead is the home, with plans to re-create the outbuildings.  Once farmstead buildings are in place, we will implement a number of additional outdoor interpretive strategies, such as planting a garden to show what women were required to raise, washing clothes in a large pot over a fire, pumping water from the well, and possibly raising chickens.

Later phases also include adapting another colony home for use as a security facility adjacent to the Cash site, and installing a walking trail between the Colony Circle and the Cash Boyhood Home.