State Line Cemetery and the Nickajack Bat Cave

State Line Cemetery was established in the early 1800’s.

A visit to State Line Cemetery

On a recent trip to the Nickajack Bat Cave on the shoreline of the Tennessee River, I discovered a cemetery very near the junction of the Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia borders.

State Line Cemetery

State Line Cemetery was established in the early 1800’s. This coincides with the era many Euro-Americans were moving into this part of Tennessee. The land was still heavily populated and influenced by Native American culture. However, the political, economic, and cultural landscapes were changing. Additionally, the environmental landscape was changing with farmers beginning to graze livestock in the area.

State Line Cemetery Established Early 1800's

Many of the early gravestones are simple fieldstones laid to mark each gravesite. These early gravestones have no discernable markings thus giving no indication of the name nor date-of-death of the interred. Other grave markers are more modern dating to recent years.

State Line Cemetery Picture

Stateline Cemetery encompasses ground very near the junction point of the Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia borders. If you wish to visit this junction, park your car at the cemetery and find a trail heading due west. The junction point lies about 100 yards from the westernmost edge of State Line Cemetery.

3 State Border Junction

For added excitement to your cemetery hunting, visit the Nickajack Bat Cave at sunset. The cave can be accessed via the Maple View Public Use Area. Shortly after sunset, thousands of bats exit the cave. They flood the tree tops in search of their nightly meals consisting of various insects.

nickajack-bat-cave-above

There is a short hiking trail leading to an observation platform. If you have a kayak, you viewing will be greatly enhanced as you can kayak right up to the mouth of the cave and watch the bats exit directly overhead.

Nickajack Bat Cave

 

1) Nickajack Bat Cave

2) TN AL GA Border Junction

Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery – Cherokee Alabama

The Coon Dog Cemetery tombstones and epitaphs will make any animal lover shed a tear.

Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery
Coon Dog Cemetery Sign

While I normally confine my cemetery research to those of the human variety, I can be easily lead astray when it comes to interesting cemeteries that do not contain human remains. When I heard of the Coon Dog Cemetery in Cherokee Alabama, my interest was immediately piqued. Coon Dog Cemetery? Seriously? I have visited several pet cemeteries but never an entire cemetery dedicated to one specific breed of dog.

“Alright, what the heck? This will be good for a quick laugh.” I thought as I drove Alabama’s secluded backwoods roads peering through my bug-splattered windshield for Coon Dog Cemetery Road. Maybe there will be two or three sticks in the ground marking a few crude burial sites where dog owners laid the remains of their hunting companions.

Well, I have to tell you I wasn’t laughing when I pulled into the Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery. There before me laid the remains of 185 beloved members of hunting families delicately honored with tombstones and epitaphs that could make any animal lover shed a tear.

There is:

Greasy’s Spot
Gypsy
Old Red
Squeek
Preacher
Hank
Daisy
Strait Talkn’ Tex
Blue Flash and Blue Flash Jr.
Tree Talkin’ Train
Papa
Lassie
So Blue Rocky
Bear
Beanblossom Bommer
Duke
Old Roy
Ranger
Ruff
High Pocket
Lulubelle
Doctor Doom
and, not to forget to mention, TROOP, the first coondog buried in the Coondog Cemetery on September 4, 1937.

Troop September 4, 1937
Troop – September 4, 1937

The Coon Dog Cemetery is only intended for the interment of “straight” coon dogs. That means, coon dogs that spend their pursuits of game other than Raccoons are not welcome. Does your dog run rabbit, squirrel, armadillo, or deer? Then your dog is not welcome here. Is your dog part chow, Labrador, Shepard, or (God forbid) poodle? Then you best bury it elsewhere.

Coon Dog Cemetery Overview
Coon Dog Cemetery Overview
Coon Dog Cemetery Marker
Coon Dog Cemetery Marker

Nearby Attraction: The Rattlesnake Saloon

How to get to the Coon Dog Cemetery:

Florence Cemetery – Florence Alabama

Florence Cemetery in Florence Alabama is the final resting place of Alabama Governors, a city Mayor, and an author or two.

Florence Cemetery - Florence Alabama
Florence Cemetery – Florence Alabama

Florence Cemetery in Florence Alabama is the final resting place of Alabama Governors, a city Mayor, and an author or two. Immediately outside the cemetery walls, 6 feet under busy Tennessee Street lies a cantankerous outlaw who claimed “no one will ever run over me.” City residents saw to it his claims would prove to be false as thousands of people run over him every single day.

I visited Florence Cemetery on a warm April day.  Though a brisk breeze blew, a bright Alabama sun beat down upon me.  The sun burns me quickly at the beginning of the summer season and I was thankful for the copious numbers of trees which shade much of the older portions of the cemetery.  Scattered throughout the grounds are groves of tall standing Juniper trees.  Cemetery maintenance workers expertly prune lower branches away from tombstones and monuments making for isolated shady areas within which I enjoyed exploring tombstone engravings without the risk of an annoying April sunburn.

Florence Cemetery is on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register as of March 2009.

Notable Tombstones & Monuments:

Florence Cemetery Mountain Tom Clark
Mountain Tom Clark
Trees in a cemetery
Shady grove of trees in Florence Cemetery
Emmet O'Neil - Alabama Governor
Emmet O’Neil – Alabama Governor 1911 – 1915
Crunk tombstone
Crunk tombstone.
Ovals in a cemetery plot.
Oval Grave Markers within a cemetery plot.

Nearby:  When visiting Florence Cemetery, be sure to “run” over Mountain Tom Clark’s gravesite on Tennessee Street, visit historic downtown Florence, and reflect on your visit with a Panini and iced tea at Rivertown Coffee, Inc. (as I’m doing right now).