The Farm

Revolutionary war hero Andrew Jefferson Ponder received a 500-acre land grant in 1806. He was the first resident in the area, settling the land, and opening a log tavern - Ponder’s Inn. He built a grist mill and general store.

In 1823, William B. Ross bought the land from Ponder, who died in 1832.

William Loch Weems was born in Maryland, and moved to Hickman County in 1826. In 1837, he bought the property from Ross, as well as the springs up on the hill, and continued buying land until he had 1800 acres.


Bon Aqua springs map.jpg

In 1839, Weems, having an idea of the true value of the springs, and believing that they could be made profitable to himself and beneficial to mankind in general, erected 15 cabins of hewn logs, and began to advertise his springs as a health resort, called Bon Aqua “Good Water."

The name and fame of Weems' Springs went far and wide, and visitors from many places and many states came from year to year.

Weems also worked to improve his farm, and worked about two hundred acres of farming land.

After William’s death, the springs and farming land became the property of his youngest son, Phillip Van Horn Weems (1828~1864). 

Phillip Weems died of wounds sustained in the Civil War, and willed the springs to his brother, Joseph Burch Weems, and the "remainder of my effects" to his brother, Nathaniel Chapman Weems.

The Weems family owned the land until the early 1970s.

Johnny at the Farm  circa 1976.jpg

Johnny took ownership of the Cash Hideaway Farm in the early 1970s, after finding out that his accountant 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.”

At Johnny’s death, Curtis Lyell bought the land to preserve the beauty and tranquility of the place.

We bought the property and began the restoration of this important legacy in 2015.  After adding smooth walkways, convenient parking, and public facilities, the Hideaway Farm opened to welcome visitors to the restfulness and peacefulness that imbues this land. 

In the spirit of preservation and restoration, this important legacy, the Storytellers Museum and Hideaway Farm, was established. 

Visitors explore displays in the Farmhouse, and learn stories of the private side of Johnny Cash. The Car Shed includes the incredible One-Piece-At-A-Time car – which is based on Johnny’s 1976 #1 hit song – as well as the lavish Johnny Paycheck Cadillac, among other vehicles.

A live mini concert is a part of every visit.