In the 1960s, Johnny Cash and his wife June moved into a stunning, one of a kind mansion along Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, Tenn. The compound would be their home until their deaths in 2003, and became a piece of Cash’s lasting legacy. It was where they wrote songs and built their family. It was the lawn where Kris Kristofferson famously landed his helicopter in order to deliver a song by hand. It was also the place where Cash’s haunting video for “Hurt” was filmed.
When it was new, the home was one of the few structures on the winding road toward the lake. Now, the property is surrounded by a suburb that could be the backdrop for any 90s American sitcom. After passing by an endless stream of brick McMansions, I was greeted by a rustic wood fence and guard shack. But sadly, only charred remnants of the home remain.
After Johnny and June died, the property was sold to Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. He intended to restore the home to its former glory and continue its legacy as a musician’s Mecca. Unfortunately, that all changed on April 11, 2007, when the home caught fire. Firefighters worked to calm the blaze, but most of the home was destroyed.
On what would have been Johnny and June’s 49th wedding anniversary, I got to explore the remnants of the Cash’s beloved property. Here’s what I saw.
As you walk up the driveway, you’re greeted by signatures in the sidewalk cement from the Cash family.
To enter the property, you have to pass by the guard shack. Inside, a computer and various items still sit untouched nearly a decade after the fire.
The home’s garage was one of the few structures to survive the fire.
As you walk down the lower driveway, there is an open concrete slab where the home once stood.
The rock pathway down to the Cash’s boat dock is still mostly intact.
Does this fireplace look familiar? It was the backdrop to one of the most recognizable scenes in Cash’s video for “Hurt.”
The uniquely placed colorful rocks and quartz crystals can still be found throughout the grounds.
Crystal quartz strategically placed in a wooden flower bed.
A carving of Johnny Cash inside one of the property’s massive trees.
The still-covered swimming pool.
The Cash’s gated tennis court.
The home’s garden is eerily charming.
The family’s secluded outdoor seating area.
So what is the future of this historic property? Texas businessman James Gresham bought the land from Gibb after the fire. Now he’s put it up on the market for an asking price of $3.95 million. Gresham says he hopes to find a serious buyer who plans to honor Cash’s legacy.
Fans can also visit Nashville’s Johnny Cash Museum, which has a display of memorabilia and possessions saved from the rubble.