Approximately 40 miles southwest of Nashville is the unincorporated community of Bon Aqua, Tenn., population 6,348. It’s not exactly a thriving metropolis, but Bon Aqua is cozy, quaint and scenic enough that it warrants the five-mile detour off of I-40 if you’re heading from Nashville to Memphis and you want some tasty Southern comfort food at the Beacon Light Tea Room.
Now, Bon Aqua also warrants a stop if you are a Johnny Cash fan or a country music lover—or both. The Storytellers Museum and Cash Hideaway Farm in Bon Aqua opened on Tuesday, July 12.
According to his 1997 autobiography, Johnny took ownership of the Cash Hideaway Farm in the early 1970s after finding out that his accountant, “Pete,” had been embezzling his money and buying properties. Johnny immediately fell in love with the 107-acre farm and spent more than 30 years in the house and on the land that he called “the center of my universe.”
In 2015, Brian and Sally Oxley purchased the Cash farm for $895,000 and began restoring it. The Oxleys also purchased a general store down the road from the farm that Red Wortham converted into a recording studio and Johnny used as a venue for local concerts. With the help of Johnny’s daughter, Cindy Cash, the Oxleys turned the general store into the Storytellers Museum, which contains paintings, artifacts, stained glass, handwritten lyrics from Johnny, a Cadillac inspired by Johnny’s song “One Piece at a Time” and much more.
The Cash Hideaway Farm and Storytellers Museum are open Tuesday–Saturday. Check the website for hours and prices. And don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at the Beacon Light Tea Room.
main photo courtesy of Norman Seeff/DKC PR