Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery - Howling From Tex
You can find the Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery 7 miles west of Tuscumbia on U.S. Hwy 72. Turn left on Alabama Hwy 247 (south), and travel approximately 12 miles. Then turn right on Coondog Cemetery Road, and follow the signs. Aprox 5 miles down on the left is the cemetery.
As you travel on Coondog Cemetery Rd, you will pass Pope Tower Rd on the left (3.2 miles from cemetery) & cross a bridge which is 2.3 miles from cemetery.
Once at the cemetery turn in (left)and continue to the circle drive. There are two monuments in this cemetery. One small one in the center of the circle drive and a larger one just at the edge of the cemetery.
Taken from the website:
In a small, grassy meadow, deep in the rich, thick wilderness of Freedom Hills, Key Underwood sadly buried his faithful coondog, Troop. They had hunted together for more than 15 years. They had been close friends.
The burial spot was a popular hunting camp where coon hunters from miles around gathered to plot their hunting strategies, tell tall tales, chew tobacco and compare coon hounds. Those comparisons usually began and ended with Troop...he was the best around.
Underwood knew there was no place in the world Troop loved more than that camp. It was only fitting, he decided, that Troop spend eternity there. On that dreary Labor Day of 1937, Underwood said good-bye to his legendary coonhound. He wrapped Troop in a cotton pick sack, buried him three feet down, and marked the grave with a rock from a nearby old chimney. On the rock, with a hammer and a screwdriver he had chiseled out Troop's name and the date. A special marker was erected in his memory.
Troop, who was half redbone coonhound and half birdsong, was known through out the region as the best. He was "cold nosed," meaning he could follow cold coon tracks until they grew fresh, and he never left the trail until he had treed the coon.
Out of one hunter's devotion to his faithfull coonhound was born the "Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard," which has became a popular tourist attraction and is the only cemetery of its kind in the world.
Other hunters started doing the same when their favorite coon dogs died. Today more than 185 coon dogs from all across the United States are buried in this spot in Northwest Alabama.
"When I buried Troop, I had no intention of establishing a coon dog cemetery," says Underwood. "I merely wanted to do something special for a special coon dog."
When columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson interviewed Underwood in 1985, he told her that a woman from California wrote him wanting to know why he didn’t allow other kinds of dogs to be buried at the coon dog cemetery.
“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,” he responded.
Some of the burial ground's headstones are crafted of wood, some of sheet metal. Others are not unlike the stones found in a "normal" cemetery.
But, of course, the names of the deceased are different and so are the epitaphs.
For example, listed among the dead are Patches, Preacher, Smoky, Bean Blossom Bomma and Night Ranger. And etched along with these names are tributes such as, "A joy to hunt with" and "He wasn't the best, but he was the best I ever had."
Hunter's Famous Amos — a hound that was named Ralston Purina's Dog of the Year in 1984, is buried here as well as several World Champion coon dogs.
To qualify for burial in this unique cemetery, where more than 185 coon dogs have been laid to rest, it has been said that three requirements must be met:
The owner must claim their pet is an authentic coon dog.
A witness must declare the deceased is a coon dog.
A member of the local coonhunters' organization must be allowed to view the coonhound and declare it as such.
Clues to box:
From the large monument in the cemetery take 17 steps/paces to your left til you find a headstone "STRAIT TALK'N TEX". From this headstone locate the two outhouses. There is a fallen tree located between the two outhouses. From the headstone of STRAIT TALK'N TEX take 40 steps/paces to your left apox 315 degrees.
You will find "Howling From Texas" wedged in the base of the fallen tree.
***PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE rehide the box & cover with leaves. There are many people who come to this cemetery and if not hidden well - This box will be lost***