Arkansas State University in Jonesboro has reached a deal to buy the historic boyhood home of music legend Johnny Cash near Dyess in Mississippi County. The purchase offer, which has been on the table since early last year, is reportedly $100,000.
Cash moved to the house with his family in 1935 when he was three years old. He was born in Kingsland, near Fordyce. The Dyess house was part of a 500-family farming colony set up by the U.S. Government in the depths of the Great Depression. ASU hopes to restore the house, along with several WPA-constructed buildings in Dyess, and turn the house into a museum. A fund-raising concert — the first of what supporters hope will be an annual Johnny Cash Music Festival — is planned for the ASU campus on Aug. 4, with appearances by several special guests, including George Jones, Roseanne Cash and John Carter Cash.
Here’s a little video of Cash’s return to his old home with his family around 1968. It sure looks a lot rougher these days. Let’s hope ASU can bring it back from the brink.