In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Coon Dog Cemetery: A Place Like No Other

This cemetery dedicated only to coon dogs is the only one in the world

In 1937, Key Underwood buried his beloved coon dog, Troop, in a grassy meadow in Northwest Alabama known as Freedom Hills.

The spot was a popular hunting camp, a place where fellow hunters would gather around the fire with their dogs, discussing strategy and swapping tall tales.

Troop loved that camp. And when it came time, Underwood couldn’t think of a more fitting place to bury his friend.

So on Labor Day of 1937, he wrapped Troop in a cotton sack and buried him three feet deep, marking his grave with a rock from an old chimney. He took a hammer and screwdriver and chiseled out Troop’s name and the date.

Over time, other hunters began to do the same. They’d come from all over the country to bury their favorite coon dogs in the same field as Troop. And today, over 185 coon dogs are buried here in what is the only cemetery of its kind in the world.

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In a lot of ways, this cemetery looks a lot like any other one you’d find. Gravestones with names and dates, some of them traditional-looking, others made out of sheet metal or wood.

It’s the names that give it away.

Red. Gypsy. Preacher. Ranger.

And of course, with pennies and crosses and rocks laid on top in remembrance for the dog that started it all…

Troop.

The cemetery is free and open to the public seven days a week.

Coon Dog Cemetery

4945 Coondog Cemetery Rd, Cherokee, AL

For more information, visit them at their website here.