Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard
Coon Dog Monument
|Established||September 4, 1937|
|Location||Colbert County, Alabama|
The Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard is a cemetery located in rural Colbert County, Alabama, USA, reserved specifically for the burial of coon dogs. Key Underwood established the cemetery on September 4, 1937 by burying his coon dog, Troop. Underwood chose the spot as it was previously a popular hunting camp. As of August 2014[update], more than 300 dogs are buried at the cemetery.
Dogs must meet three requirements to qualify for burial at the cemetery: the owner must claim that their pet is an authentic coon dog, a witness must declare that the deceased is a coon dog, and a member of the local coonhunters' organization must be allowed to view the coonhound and declare it as such.
Headstones in the cemetery range from the homemade wooden and metal monuments to the more elaborate marble engraved stones found at many human cemeteries. The dead include many famous dogs such as Hunter's Famous Amos, Ralston Purina's 1984 Dog of the Year.
Every Labor Day the Tennessee Valley Coon Hunter's Association sponsors a gathering at the cemetery in a tribute to the inauguration of the cemetery on Labor Day in 1937. The celebration includes music, dancing, food and a liar's contest. The gathering is often attended by local politicians.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Key Underwood Coondog Memorial Park
- Elder, Tracy (16 February 2011). "Tim Horton and Colbert County Tourism unveil new marketing project". WAFF (TV). Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- McNulty, Timothy (1 October 1978). "It's the doggonest cemetery around". Chicago Tribune.
- "Coon Dog Cemetery". St. Joseph News-Press. 12 June 1969. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- Harwell, Hoyt (30 July 1983). "Cemetery for Coon Dogs Only". Star-News. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- Kazek, Kelly (August 19, 2014). "Legendary Coon Dog Cemetery to once again host Labor Day celebration with live music, crafts, barbecue". The Huntsville Times. Huntsville, AL. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- "Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard". coondawgs.com. 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2009.