ABOVE: One marker honors Johnny Cash, marking the Old Hickory Lake property where he lived with June Carter Cash for over 35 years; the other marker honors the property originally owned by Roy Orbison who lost two sons in a house fire, which was later preserved by Cash as an orchard to honor the Orbison family.
SUMNER COUNTY TOURISM
Two new Tennessee Historical Commission markers that will be placed near the former homes of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison in Hendersonville were dedicated on Tuesday, March 26, at the Sumner County Tourism office in Gallatin.
Johnny Cash lived on Old Hickory Lake after purchasing a house from famed architect Braxton Dixon in 1968. Cash, as well as his wife June Carter Cash, were among many famed musicians, singers, and songwriters who called Caudill Drive home. Roy Orbison was a neighbor of the Cash family and Orbison tragically lost two of his sons in a house fire while he was on tour in the late 1960s. Cash later purchased the property turning it into an orchard, and promised Orbison he would protect the land in honor of Orbison’s sons.
The two new Tennessee Historical Commission markers called, “The Cash Home, and “The Orchard,” were researched and submitted for consideration to the Commission by Vanderbilt student Jennifer Bruce. Bruce reached out to several family members and friends of the Cash and Orbison families during the course of her research, many of whom were present for the dedication ceremony.
“We know that visitors from all over the globe make their way to Hendersonville Memory Gardens to pay their respects to Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash at their final resting places. We also know that visitors love Cash and Orbison, and this is a tangible way for visitors to connect with the musicians. We give enormous thanks to Jennifer Bruce and the Tennessee Historical Commission for making these a reality in Sumner County,” said Sumner County Tourism Executive Director Barry Young.
The dedication also included reminscences from Joanne Cash Yates, sister of Johnny Cash. Yates, her husband Dr. Harry Yates, and Jennifer Bruce unveiled the Cash marker while Young and Tennessee Historical Commission Executive Director Patrick McIntyre unveiled the Orchard marker. Other officials at the dedication included Mayor Jamie Clary of Hendersonville who closed the ceremony with a few words, Mayor Paige Brown of Gallatin, and Melanie Beauchamp of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.
Special recognition was paid to Marty Stuart and Connie Smith for their efforts to preserve the orchard after Cash’s death. The two were honored with a plaque that will hang next to the Commission markers on the former Cash property. Stuart also shared his own memories of Caudill Drive and the meaningful connection he has with the property.
The markers are expected to be hung sometime this spring on the fence at Cash’s former property located at 200 Caudill Drive, Hendersonville.