Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard’s 75th

People from near and far gathered in the Shoals on Monday, September 3 for a one-of-a-kind Labor Day celebration at the Coon Dog Cemetery.

Hundreds of people filled the Coon Dog Cemetery in Colbert County, Alabama, for the 75th Annual Labor Day celebration.Every year hundreds of people from all walks of life visit the Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery on Labor Day.

“People look forward to it. It’s a really different event. It says a lot about our culture in the area,” said executive director, Susan Hamlin.

There was live music and endless amounts of barbecue. Friends of all ages joined the more than 300 coon dogs buried in the world’s only coon dog cemetery.

“Everyone loves to come out for barbecue on Labor Day. That’s sort of a tradition in the South,” said Hamlin.The rain held off for most of the day, allowing everyone to enjoy the history and fellowship in western Colbert County.

The cemetery has provided a final resting place strictly for registered coon dogs since 1937.

In fact, it has been said that a dog must meet three requirements for burial there: The owner must claim their pet is an authentic coon dog, a witness must agree, and a member of the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard must view the coon dog and declare it as such.  COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF) – TV-48, Huntsville, Alabama

I’ve learned a substantial amount of coon dog information and terminology over the past several years.  A few barking terms that may interest you follow:  (

  • Bawl Mouth:  prolonged bark or voice of the a hunting hound
  • Baying:  the act of barking at game that is cornered on the ground
  • Changeover Bark:  dog’s bark changes from trailing to treeing
  • Chop bark:  short, fast barks
  • Strike:  dog barks or opens when it smells a track
  • Tight Mouth:  dog doesn’t bark much on track
  • Treed:  dog at tree with game and barking

My husband and I were participants of the 75th festivities for three hot, sultry hours.  However, despite the somber facial expressions in these images, we had a unique and delightful experience, treed in the shade.

If you are so inclined to pursue newspaper write-ups about this event, check out 

Coon Dog Cemetery—75th Celebration Photos—Parts 1-2-3 (September 5, 2012)

Moonshine Still Raided at Coon Dog Cemetery—75th Anniversary Celebration (September 6, 2012)

All net proceeds from the event are used to maintain and enhance the cemetery. The Coon Dog Celebration is coordinated and managed by the Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery and the Colbert County Tourism Bureau.  For more information, contact the Colbert County Tourism Bureau at 256-383-0783 or by e-mail at or

Additional images of the day’s event can be seen at Cheryl’s Digital Photography, under This N’ That.

They were Good ‘Uns’…dogs that is.


About corinthrose

Born again Christian, helpmate of 42 years, domestic engineer of two children, GRANDmother of six darlings, professional volunteer, fanatic photographer, and a wanna be writer. Occasionally, infatuated with family history, flower photography, and traveling with my hiking buddy.
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3 Responses to Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard’s 75th

  1. That’s one beautiful coon dog! Loved your self photos. And the quote about the event saying a lot about the culture of the area. That wasn’t a still in the corner of one of your photos, was it?

  2. kenneth & brenda says:

    Isn’t this the neatest place…been there 3 times but never to the festival. I will have to put that on my bucket list…….every time i go i think of Grandpa Jones singing “Here Rattler Here”….

  3. Nancy says:

    Glad you went to support the graveyard. Four “barks” for you.

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