The former California ranch-style home of Johnny Cash — designed to be a serene getaway from the pressures of fame — just hit the market for $1.795 million.
In 1961, Cash built a five-bedroom, 4,500-square-foot house on nearly six acres in Ventura County with his wife, Vivian, to “escape from the raucous fame of his rock ‘n roll lifestyle,” according to a Douglas Elliman representative.
A private driveway leads to the residence at 8736 Nye Road in Casitas Springs, California. The couple and their three daughters spent time at the property tucked in the hills between Ventura and Ojai.
“If you know the rest of the story, you’ll know that the homestead was not enough to save them from the forces that were starting to torment Johnny and threaten their marriage,” according to the property listing. “But while they held onto that possibility, they poured their heart and soul into the house, making it irrevocably theirs, imbued with a combination of down-home country style and star-studded glitz.”
They divorced in 1966. Vivian sold the property in the early 1970s, according to an article by the Wall Street Journal. Cash later married June Carter.
“The story is told that Johnny bought the land and built the house to his exact specifications, walking the rooms and deciding on exact placement and layout,” according to Douglas Elliman.
The double-gabled house sits in a natural setting of evergreens and flowers along with a beautiful pool and grilling area. Inside, much of the original design remains, with painted ceilings imbued with glitter, a wall-mounted turntable and intercom system and curved brick fireplace in the family room.
“This property is the perfect example of a time capsule,” listing agent Adam McKaig of Douglas Elliman told the Sacramento Bee via email. “The minute you walk through the front door, you are transported into Johnny’s living room. From the record player that pulls out of the wall to the intercom system to the wagon wheel light fixtures, this house was designed by the legend himself and decades later, his essence lives on through the four walls. It’s a timeless piece of history.”
Melissa Borders is the co-listing agent.
Custom-wood cabinets and beams in the kitchen and living room “are period-specific and filled with charm,” the listing states.
“The wood-paneled studio where Johnny sequestered himself to write many of his hit songs is timelessly preserved,” according to the property listing.
The studio has high windows that look onto the grounds and provided the privacy Cash needed for staying up all night writing music, and “then sleeping all day necessitated two distinct his-and-her master bedroom suites since their sleep habits were so different.”
Johnny Cash’s famous black commode is still in the house, by the way.
The singer-songwriter taught his daughters to shoot at the estate. Spent shells occasionally turn up as testimony to their target practice, according to Douglas Elliman.
The sellers are Chip and JoAnn Hickman, according to the Wall Street Journal article. They are downsizing after buying property in 2003 for about $739,000, the article said.