Photos by Cheryl Meints
I love Fun Fridays, especially when I get to tell you things about places like the Coon Dog Cemetery and next month the Rattlesnake Saloon.
You first encounter the cemetery on Highway 72, near Cherokee, Alabama.
Once when Beth Moore drove to Huntsville to speak at a Women's Christian Conference, she passed the sign and took a detour.
I had passed the sign for years, always meaning to turn at the crossroads and wander back to Freedom Hills, but never did until last year. It was well worth the trip.
The Coon Dog Cemetery started on Labor Day, 1937, when Key Underwood lost his beloved coon dog, Troop, and buried him at the Freedom Hills camp where coon hunters gathered to plan their hunting strategy...and whatever else coon hunters do. The two had hunted together for fifteen years.
In 2012 the 75th Anniversary was held on Labor Day and people came from all over the country. I'd even bet a few International visitors were there.
One of the interesting things I discovered was money on top of the tomb stones. If you'll look closely at the top of this tombstone you can see what I'm talking about. I've looked several places and can't find a reason for leaving the change...unless it's as a remembrance or respect. Some of the memorials are not typical tombstones.
Once a lady from California wrote Key Underwood, wanting to know why he didn't allow other breeds of dogs to be buried in his now famous cemetery. Here's his reply:
"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."
More of the history of the cemetery can be found here. Check it out. It's a really interesting story, and there's a photo of Troops tombstone.
Oh, and those other things coon hunter do...not sure if this is one of them, but...