Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, Dyess

4.7
#29 of 105 in Museums in Arkansas
Specialty Museum · Museum
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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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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We drove the long way to Memphis to see it but did not make it in time for a tour. However you can explore the grounds a little bit on your own and read the signage and check out the small town. 
    We drove the long way to Memphis to see it but did not make it in time for a tour. However you can explore the grounds a little bit on your own and read the signage and check out the small town.  more »
  • Great place! Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. Small little town with a lot of history. Lots of history here. 
    Great place! Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. Small little town with a lot of history. Lots of history here.  more »
Google
  • Our GPS lost signal on the way, so be sure to write down the instructions before you leave! We were nearly late and ended up at the wrong locations, but the guide was really gracious about it. The home itself is pristine and so aesthetic against the background of the farmlands. Everything placed inside was curated by one of Johnny's sisters as it was. They had so many interesting, original artifacts. We learned so much and the guide had some great anecdotes! Totally recommend stop for any Cash fan!
  • Walking through time when Dyess County was a rescue for farmers during the Great depression and which flooding led to re routing the Mississippi River. Knowing what Johnny Cash grew up in and how he never looked back at what made him strive to do better. What an amazing place !

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