“This morning, with her, having coffee.”
That was Johnny Cash’s answer when he was asked when and where he was happiest in a Vanity Fair “Proust Questionnaire” feature from 1997.
The “her” he’s referring to was his wife June Carter Cash, and it’s safe to say their morning coffee together was enjoyed overlooking the breathtaking panoramic views of Old Hickory Lake at the expansive home they shared for 35 years in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Today, the 4.6 acres of land at 200 Caudill Drive is on the market for $3.95 million, and the seller hopes to find a potential buyer that will restore the original house to its former grandeur.
Built in 1967, the main house boasted 13,880 square feet of living space with seven bedrooms, five full baths and two half-baths. Tennessee builder Braxton Dixon had been constructing the home for his family, but when the Man in Black saw it, he laid claim to the place.
“One day, Johnny happened along and said, ’I like this place,'” his brother Tommy Cash recalled in a 2005 interview with CMT.com. “I like the round rooms, and I like the looks of his whole area,’ and said, ’I want to buy it.'”
Johnny’s favorite music space was the Lake Room for its excellent view of the water. It’s where he wrote several hits, filmed the “Hurt” music video and hosted impromptu jams with several famous friends including Carl Perkins and Bob Dylan.
The home’s most popular space was the 20-by-27-foot great room that contained a beautiful fireplace, in addition to an elevator that was installed in early 2003 because the performers’ frail condition made climbing the stairs difficult.
The Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb bought the estate in 2006, and a fire destroyed the main house in a 2007 remodel. Fortunately, no one was home at the time. In 2014, Gibb sold the property to Texas businessman James Gresham for $2 million. Gresham had plans to build an eating disorder treatment facility on the property, but he abandoned the project after locals protested the idea.
Now, Gresham hopes its new owner will reconstruct the former Cash estate while living in the on-site luxury apartment that was once June’s dressing room.
It’s going to take a lot of love to restore the original house. Visiting the property today is like exploring an ancient ruin of the South. All that remains from the main structure are rocks from the foundation.
There’s a boat dock, a garage, a small pool and a bell garden where June once tended her roses. That same area is where Kris Kristofferson landed a helicopter in a desperate attempt to get Cash to hear “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”
In that same “Proust Questionnaire,” Cash said his favorite journey was the last mile home. And that came from a man who had been everywhere.