"You must not know much about coon hunters and their dogs, if you think we would contaminate this burial place with poodles and lap dogs" -Key Underwood, the founder of the Coon Dog Cemetery in response to someone asking why only coon dogs are allowed to be buried here.When I pulled in and drove down the short road I realized I hadn't given much thought to driving out to the middle of nowhere alone. It was too late to turn back and for the next hour I did my best to photograph every grave marker and get a few rubbings of some unique headstones. It was pretty damp out from the hot rain earlier in the day so the rubbings were a semi-failed process, but I did get a few gems. I am so glad I made my way to this peaceful place. It was really special to see the love everyone had for their dogs and not creepy one bit in case you were wondering if there was any Steven King Pet Cemetery thoughts dancing around in my head.
To qualify for burial in this unique cemetery, where more than 185 coon dogs have been laid to rest, it has been said that three requirements must be met [From the Coon Dog Cemetery website]:
- The owner must claim their pet is an authentic coon dog.
- A witness must declare the deceased is a coon dog.
- A member of the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard, Inc. must be allowed to view the coon hound and declare it as such.
You can find the Coon Dog Cemetery 7 miles west of Tuscumbia on U.S. Hwy 72. Turn left on Alabama Hwy 247, and travel approximately 12 miles. Then turn right, and follow the signs.
View the full photo set
P.S. thanks Natalie Chanin for the hot tip to this spot!