Johnny Cash once called his Tennessee ranch “the center of my universe,” and nows fans have the chance to experience it in person. As Smithsonian reports, the music icon’s 107-acre ranch has been transformed into an attraction called the Storytellers Museum, now open to the public.
The ranch in Bon Aqua fell into Cash’s possession in the early 1970s. After learning that his accountant had been purchasing real estate around the country with embezzled funds, Cash seized the properties from him and sold every one but the Tennessee ranch.
For years, the home served as his sanctuary. Cash wrote in his autobiography:
"This is a great place for pottering. I can cook my own food, read my own books, tend my own garden, wander my own land. I can think, write, compose, study, rest, and reflect in peace."
When he wasn’t enjoying his quiet time at the farmhouse, he could be found performing songs at the local general store. His visits there inspired the song “Saturday Night in Hickman County,” the handwritten lyrics of which currently hang inside the Storytellers Museum.
Following Johnny Cash’s death in 2003, the property sat empty for years. It wasn’t until Brian and Sally Oxley purchased the home for $895,000 in 2015 that the possibility of it becoming a museum arose. The house has since been refurbished and stocked with Johnny Cash memorabilia like guitars, letters, and photographs. Some of the highlights from the historical site include a Cadillac inspired by his song “One Piece at a Time,” and a wall punctured with bullet holes left over from the day he taught his daughter Cindy how to shoot.
The house that served as the musician’s retreat makes up just one half of the museum. The Oxleys also purchased the nearby convenience store when it hit the market. It now serves as a regular music venue in honor of Cash’s legacy.
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