10-20-09 Coon Dog Cemetery

Many a time, solemn men in black coats and hip boots, carbide lamps on their heads, stood beside fresh dug holes in this thick wilderness to bury their faithful coon dogs. Almost 200 head-stones – or sheet metal with scratched inscriptions – memorialize best friends like Bean Blossom, Night Ranger, Patches, Preacher, and Straight Talk’n Tex. Whether it’s a cold nose, hot nose, loose mouth, squallin’, grand nite champion, or pressure tree dog, the epitaphs say it all: “He was a joy to hunt with…He wasn’t the best, but he was the best I ever had…”.
Only blue-blood coon dogs lie in rest here. “We have stipulations on this thing,” says the caretaker of the Coon Dog Cemetery. “A dog can’t run no deer, possum – nothing like that. He’s got to be a straight coon dog, and he’s got to be a full hound. Couldn’t be a mixed up breed dog, a house dog.” And, according to Key Underwood who started the whole thing in 1937 when he buried his buddy, Troop, you must not know much about coon hunters and their dogs if you think we could contaminate this burial place with poodles and lap dogs.

The description above of the Coon Dog Cemetery comes from a brochure about the sights and entertainment in Florence, AL and the surrounding area.

Betsy and I just had to visit the cemetery. It is located about 25 miles from the marina. Access is by highway, then an old backwood road, barely wide enough for two cars to pass. We are just going to let the pictures tell the story.

You will note the statue on the property showing two coon dogs treeing a coon. It is enclosed entirely in fencing, and razor wire on the top. This is due to vandalism on the original statue.

Some of the Tombstones:

Two resting places..(:-})

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