Friday, June 10, 2016

Five On Friday - A Most Unusual Graveyard

Our latest road trip found us in an unusual spot near a small town in Alabama where we were able to visit the Key Underwood Coon Hound Memorial Graveyard on a beautiful June day. 

For Five On Friday over at Love Made My Home, here is five things I learned about this cemetery.

One:  Coon hounds were named for the raccoons they originally chased with their hunters. When a coon hound gets on the scent of the animal it's chasing, the coon hound "trees" the quarry and stays at the bottom of the tree until released by the hunter. The cemetery has a large statue at the entrance memorializing the coon hound's "treeing" action.
Two:  Only authentic coon hounds are allowed burial in the cemetery. To qualify, a dog has to be an authentic coon hound, of which there are six types. The owner, one other person who personally knows the dog, and an official from the Friends of the Coon Hound Memorial Graveyard all have to certify the dog as an authentic coon hound before approval for burial is granted.
Three:  Owners of this breed of dog dearly love their hounds. Some of the grave markers have comical names or short statements about the dogs on them. A few of the hounds are noted as being registered champions of their breed. There are 185 coon hounds buried in the cemetery so far.

If you have a chance to visit, plan to stay a while. There's a lot to read and the setting is beautiful. 
Here's my friend Dot from North Carolina...apparently she was enjoying the grave she was reading!
Wild Bill and I were traveling near Memphis Tennessee, headed south, on our way to drive through northern Alabama when I decided to text an old friend from my work days. Dot and I hadn't seen each other in 15 years, and we only talk on the phone about once a year. 

Dot lives in North Carolina, and she and her husband travel the country in their RV a lot of the time. I asked her in my text if she was currently out traveling, and she responded they were currently in northern Alabama! We had no previous idea that Dot and her husband Dave were having their RV serviced in Red Bay Alabama, which is in the northwest part of the state, until the moment I texted her. We drove right down and spent the next day with them.

Four:  When I was a kid, people often said "I wouldn't give you 2 cents for that dog!" I think that's why pennies can be found on most of the graves. Sometimes you find piles of change on a grave, as in the case of Troop, the first dog buried in the cemetery in 1937 by his owner, Key Underwood. 
Old Troop was 15 years old, born in 1922 and died on September 4, 1937. His owner buried him on Labor Day that year, at what once was their favorite hunting site. Every year on Labor Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a celebration is held in the graveyard. Bragging contests are held along with memorials to the hounds. 
Regarding the piles of coins on the graves, it appears no one touches them even though this rural cemetery is unguarded and in the middle of nowhere.

Five:  In the movie Sweet Home Alabama, the movie couple's coon hound Bear is shown to be buried in this cemetery. The film's creators used special effects to make it look like the cemetery is located next to their cabin.

You can read about the coon hound cemetery here and you can read about how the film makers incorporated the cemetery and the coon hounds into the movie here.

Thanks for dropping by!

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  1. I have never come across a coon hound before, amazing that they have their own cemetery.

  2. Now I've seen everything, a Coon Dog Cemetery, that's great!

  3. What a fascinating place to visit, I never would have known about the Coon Dog cemetery if you hadn't visited Normandy today. I love bloggers!

  4. Well I never! Great thing you having the insight to text a friend, I'll bet that was a blast. You are full of information.

  5. It was so interesting to read about this unusual place. How nice that you had the opportunity to meet us with a dear friend. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Pat :)

  6. What an interesting post. Never knew there was such a thing.

  7. What a fun post!

    As a dog lover, it would be wonderful to read the sentiments pet owners left about their beloved pets.

  8. Hi Sugar, it's me again. I just want to thank you for the nice comment you left me and you brought up a very good point which I will remember :) Have a wonderful day. Pat xx

  9. This is really interesting, thanks for sharing.


  10. I always love to walk through cemeteries, and one like this would be one I would love to as well! Here in Virginia, there is what is called and "eco-forest" where cremated ashes of both people and their pets can be laid to rest together -- My kind of place too!

  11. Oh how neat! I have a friend who used to be an owner. I set up the masterfox website for him. I don't think he does that anymore due to health, but I do recall how much the owners loved their dogs. This was interesting to see. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Well, I certainly learned something here this evening! What an interesting post!! As an animal lover (although I've never had a coon dog!), this appeals to my heart. :)

  13. How interesting. I had no idea there was a cemetery just for coon dogs. Now I want to watch the movie again just to notice the cemetery! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  14. How unusual indeed, have never heard of this before at all x

  15. Sugar, only in the South would you find this! :D Thanks for sharing it with us!

  16. I did remember in Sweet Home Alabama the coon hound cemetery glad to know it was real. I like walking through old cemeteries. So I was in heaven so to speak, when I walked through cemeteries in Charleston SC. I'm a history lover and just reading the headstones are full of history.
    Love the South..