Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations: The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home at Arkansas State University

The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Set in 1935 Rural Arkansas

Arkansas State University, a mid-sized public institution,  has the most impressive presence of any educational institution I have yet seen in Second Life. The attractive campus, spread over 5 regions, is realistically designed and attractively landscaped.  What makes Arkansas State's virtual campus such a standout are two star attractions which need to be seen by anyone who great virtual design - the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home and the Southern Tenant's Farmer Museum.

The great songwriter and singer Johnny Cash (1932 - 2003), and his wife June Carter Cash who was also an iconic songwriter and performance artist, need no introduction. At the age of 3, in 1935, Johnny Cash and his  family moved to Dyess Arkansas, which was the location of the largest planned agrarian community established by the Roosevelt Administration, the Dyess Colony. The Great Depression was raging then, and Arkansas, a Southern State dependent on agriculture and particularly the cotton crop, was particularly hard hit.

To be given a new home and an opportunity to earn a living must have appeared to be a godsend to his family. You can get a very good feel of how well designed and modern (for 1935) the Cash Home and Dyess Colony are by visiting. Both the Johnny Cash Home and Dyess Colony are now administered by Arkansas State and are a National Historic Site  available for real -life visiting.  They Dyess Colony, used as a location for part of the 2005 film about The Cash Family Walk the Line, are a one-hour drive from the Arkansas State campus.

In addition to the Dyess Colony, Arkansas State has built the Southern Tenant Farmer's Museum in nearby Tyronza. The museum's photographic and arts collections and events shows how the economic system of tenant farming or  sharecropping dominated the American South for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. The virtual museum  is located near the Cash Home offers a good portion of the actual museum's photographic collection  You can take on online tour of the virtual museum here.

I highly recommend you visit the Johnny Cash boyhood home if you have not yet done so.  Anyone who appreciates  history and period design has to see what I consider to be the best online museum that I have yet seen in Second Life. In addition, I like detail and the period interiors from 1935 are worth a visit on their own. The realism of the region and excellent landscaping make it a star attraction for Second Life photographers and bloggers, and is highly recommended.

To visit:

Other blogger coverage:

Million Happy Endings has a recent review:

Designing Worlds reviewed this destination in 2014:

Designer David Hollywood has an excellent write-up of the project here:

Petr VanBeeck has a review of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home here:

The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home  is currently a Second Life Destination Guide Editors' Pick. You can check out other recommended destinations here:

To see more gorgeous places to visit in Second Life:

The only other university I have seen with as well designed a virtual campus is Texas A&M University. You can catch my review and more photography here:

Two of these photographs feature the lovely Mrs. Debbie Magic (debbie.hazelnut) who I met on-site.You can catch more photographs of Debbie here:

Mr. Debbie Magic in front of a 1935 pickup truck outside of the Cash home. 

Debbie inside the period 1935 kitchen of the Cash home.

The living room of the Cash Home. 

Here are Johnny Cash and June Carter singing their hit Jackson.

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