Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Mississippi County has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program announced yesterday. The Register, part of the National Park Service, is the nation’s official list of historically significant places.
The farm home was built in 1934, at 4791 West County Road in Dyess, by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Cash lived there from 1935 until he graduated from high school in 1950.
From the nomination to the Register:
Although there has not been an exhaustive search for properties associated with Johnny Cash in Arkansas or other states; Johnny Cash, many members of his close family, and a long list of biographers have referred to his time in Dyess and his home at Farm No. 266 as key to his later musical career. Johnny Cash even noted the importance of his early life in Dyess in various interviews and writings about his life and career, noting that ‘When we grew up… it was second nature that we wouldn’t live in Dyess when we were grown. It was the aim of every person to get a better job. But if I hadn’t grown up there, I wouldn’t be what I am now. It was the foundation for what I became.
For a vibey and poetic take on the legacy and mythos of Cash, I’ll recommend this book from the 33 1/3 series by Tony Tost, a graduate of the University of Arkansas MFA program.