Colony Center Restoration Timeline

Resettlement Colony Established

Colonization Project No. 1 is established in May 1934 as a New Deal experiment to help struggling farmers get back on their feet.
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Death of William R. Dyess

On January 14, 1936, colony founder William R. Dyess is killed in a plane crash near Goodwin, Arkansas.
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Dyess Administration Building

Dyess Administration Building opens as the centerpiece for the colony, providing offices for federal workers.
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Cooperative Store

The Cooperative Store at Dyess meets colonists' needs, from food to clothing, to seed and fertilizer.
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Cafe and Shops

Café and Shops provide a place to take visitors, as well as providing services to colonists.
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Colony Dedicated and Renamed

On May 22, 1936, the second anniversary of the colony, the Colony Circle is dedicated and the project is renamed Dyess Colony.
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Eleanor Roosevelt Visits

The First Lady visits Dyess Colony on June 9, 1936 and delivers remarks on the front steps of the Administration Building.
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Shoe and Harness Shop

Shoe and Harness Shop shares space with Dyess Colony fire and law enforcement offices.
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Colony Service Station

Though few colonists have cars, Colony Service Station keeps school buses and federal vehicles and equipment running.
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The Flood of 1937

The Flood of 1937 knocks Dyess colonists to their knees, just as they are getting back on their feet.
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New Duplex Tenants

Post office moves into south side of duplex building, with café later moving into the north side.
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Key Services Relocate

Around 1945, the U. S. Post Office and the Shoe Shop move to the Administration Building.
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Colony Circle Buildings Privatized

In March 1946, the Farm Security Administration accepts bids from private interests for Colony Center buildings.
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Theatre Replaces Burned Building

Early in 1947, the original Café and Shops Building burns and a theatre takes its place.
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Another New Circle Building

In 1948 Dewey Cox moves Shoe Shop from Administration Building and opens service station.
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Stansbury's Store

Troy and Gussie Stansbury build store adjacent to Cox's Service Station.
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Empty Lot Developed

In the early 1950s, an empty lot previously used for crowd gatherings becomes a service station.
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Drug Store Burns

Drug store and teen hang-out north of original service station burns.
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A New Pop Shop

After the drug store burns, the Pop Shop relocates to space adjacent to the theatre, formerly Ma Woods' Café.
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Cooperative Store Succumbs to Fire

In June 1957, the former Dyess Colony Cooperative Store burns to the ground, leaving only the foundation.
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Building Rescue Efforts

In the mid-1970s, Charles Stone acquires rapidly deteriorating Administration Building and begins improvements.
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National Register of Historic Places

The Dyess Colony is added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, based on its significance to modern American social and agricultural history.
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Filming on Location

The former Cox service station and shoe repair becomes a film location for "Walk the Line."
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Dyess Days 2006

The City of Dyess establishes a three-day Dyess Days celebration to raise funds to acquire the Administration Building.
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Gene Williams Donates $50,000

Country music personality donates $50,000 to enable the City to acquire the Administration Building and Theatre shell.
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Roof Replacement Grant

Dyess receives $42,000 from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program toward replacing the roof of the Administration Building.
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Dyess Days 2007

The City of Dyess holds a two-day "Dyess Days" event in July featuring Mickey Gilley and the Urban Cowboy Band, along with Gene Williams and the Country Junction Band.
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Dyess Days 2008

The third annual Dyess Days, a two-day event, features Angie Penny performing with Doc Wooten & Kanyon.
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Electric Cooperatives Charged Up

Administrators with the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas become interested in Dyess and pledge support.
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A-State Conducts Study

Arkansas State University initiates planning phase for revitalization of the Dyess community.
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75th Anniversary Celebration

Dyess celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Colony on May 22 with a picnic and commemorative ceremony in the Colony Circle.
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Feasibility Study Completed

An outside study indicates that successful renovation of the Administration Building will require a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the City.
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Buildings Donated to A-State

City of Dyess donates the Administration Building and former Theatre shell to Arkansas State University as part of a partnership agreement.
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Phase I ANCRC Grant Received

A-State receives a grant to restore the exterior of the Administration Building and temporarily shore up the former Theatre façade.
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Phase II ANCRC Grant Received

A-State receives a grant for foundation work and plumbing and mechanical infrastructure work at the Administration Building.
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Phase III ANCRC Grant Received

A $350,000 grant is received from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council to restore the Administration Building first floor.
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Phase IV ANCRC Grant Received

A $500,000 grant is received from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council to complete the Administration Building second floor.
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NEH Challenge Grant Received

A $500,000 Challenge Grant is received from the National Endowment for the Humanities to be applied toward the overall Dyess project.
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Special Guests Tour Progress

Officials affiliated with the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives and their guests tour the Administration Building.
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Exhibit Design Phase Completed

Outside exhibit designers complete design work for exhibits to be installed in the Administration Building,
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Administration Exhibits Installed

Exhibits tell the stories of the Dyess Colony and how growing up in the colony impacted Johnny Cash and his music.
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VIP Inspection Tour

Johnny Cash siblings Joanne Cash and Tommy Cash , along with Cash's youngest daughter, Tara Cash Schwoebel, were on hand for the special preview.
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Administration Building Grand Opening

Dedication ceremonies were held Aug. 16, 2014.
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Theatre Work Begins

A grant received from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council aided in moving the project forward.
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Grant for Interior Received

An additional grant through the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council enabled completion of the Visitors Center.
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Visitors Center Grand Opening

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Historic Signage Installed

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A-State Acquires Cooperative Store Property

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