Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, Dyess

#29 of 102 in Museums in Arkansas
Must see · Specialty Museum · Museum
Last tours of the day begin at 3 p.m. $10 general admission, $8 Seniors, $5 Students ages 5-18 or with College ID, Free to ASU Students and Children under 5 years of age.

The Dyess Colony in Northeast Arkansas was created in 1934 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to aid in the nation’s economic recovery from the Great Depression. As one of the nation’s earliest and largest federal agricultural resettlement communities, it provided a fresh start for nearly 500 out-of-work Arkansas farm families, including the family of music legend Johnny Cash.

Led by colony namesake W. R. Dyess, the Works Progress Administration and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, acquired about 16,000 acres of swampy, forested land in Mississippi County and divided it into 20- to 40-acre potential farmsteads. A house and outbuildings were provided on each, with colonists expected to pay the government back after clearing the land and converting it to agricultural production. The government also established a Colony Center, with a two-story Administration Building as the centerpiece, to provide cooperative services to colonists.

Though most of the buildings and colony houses are now gone, Arkansas State University, in partnership with the City of Dyess, has restored the remaining Administration Building and the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. The Administration Building now houses the Dyess Colony Museum (along with city offices), while the Cash Home is furnished as it appeared when the Cash family lived there, from 1935 through 1953, A former theatre adjacent to the Administration Building is being recreated as a visitor center.
A visit to Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Dyess travel planner to plot your vacation.
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Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash reviews

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  • I love visiting the little out of the way spots like this. I was on the first tour that went through the renovated Cash house a few years ago so it was nice to come back and se what’s been added...  more »
  • I had no idea that places like the Dyess Colony ever existed, but the displays and the tour brought its history to life and explained the impact the Colony had on Johnny Cash and his music. The...  more »
  • This was such an interesting and touching experience! It wasn’t just about Johnny Cash, it was the story of our country during the Great Depression. Our country is full of tough hero’s and so many that will never be famous but they made our country great and strong and something to always be proud of. Go experience this tour which includes the home and museum and old theatre. Absolutely wonderful!
  • Cool to see! A little tricky to find... you have to find the main visitors building and then they shuttle you to the home. Worth the stop! Very very hot, bring water!

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