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Moonshine still raided at Coondog Cemetery 75th anniversary celebration

 making a fire 

   chopped up still 5868 


The Coondog Cemetery celebrated its 75th anniversary on Labor Day September 3, 2012 with a rip roaring celebration.  What better way to have a mountain celebration with over 2500 guests than to have some shine to go along with L. O. Bishop BBQ?  Moonshine, mountain dew, white lightning, red-eye, rotgut, alcohol, ardent spirits, booze, drink, firewater, grog, hooch, John Barleycorn, that is.  In order to have some fresh shine and educate the next generation on the lost art of making moonshine, you have to have a still.   

   finally a good fire 

   stirring the mash 

   stirring mash 5939 

   mash ready for cooking 5899 

   making the barrel water tight 

   barrel mucked and ready for some shine 

 all ready 5688 

The still was set up and running next to the remains of a previous raid as guests were settling down in their lawn chairs waiting for the first group to perform when the law showed up and spied the still stuck off to the side of the cemetery.  Deputy Darren Green wasted no time in arresting Sam Bates, the ring leader of the moonshine operation and hauled him off in hand cuffs.  Most guests had no idea what was happening until the deputy Green led Sam through the crowd.   The disappointed crowd milled around the remains of the still operation comparing the ax marks in the old copper tank to an old Andy Griffith show; the one where the sisters had a special flower making machine in their greenhouse.  They only sold the elixir for special occasions.  Barney kept saying that he was going to take a great big ax and go pow, pow, pow.

   here comes the law 

   busted 5968 

   line up 5972 

   Sam is busted 5974 

   the crowds finds out 5978 

   Deputy Green has his man 5991 

    off to jail 5989 

Next year the Coondog Cemetery plans to hide the still a little further back in the woods on the other side of the outhouses.  These modern day folks have got to have one of these portal John things, so they won’t be going near the aroma of the outhouses.  So ya’ll be sure to come back now next year.

 marker by Mark Jarrett 

   Martha Carpenter coondog cemetery print 

Various vendors where present along with entertainment by the Southern Strangers, Karren Pell & Friends, Travis Wammack  (Scratchy, Easy Evil, Love Being Your Fool)  with his Snakeman Band, Jake Landers, Karren Pell & Friends, buck dancing and a liar’s contest.  Travis Wammack introduced his new song Coondog Cemetery and a special limited edition Coondog  75th  anniversary Case knife and a Coondog Cemetery limited print by Martha Carpenter were sold.  Mark Jarrett at Custom Engraved Stones donated a special carved 75th memorial stone for the cemetery and made one for the Coondog Lady (aka Janice Williams)

   Troop grave 


All the coondog graves were decorated with USA flags and fresh silk flowers, which even fooled a butterfly which fluttered from grave to grave trying to get nectar from each flower.  Soon the disappointed sulfur disappeared toward the aroma of sour mash to seek a real flower. 



   graves 5708 

 graves 5650 


   graves 5644 

The Coondog Cemetery was actually started on September 4, seventy five years ago when Troop beloved coonhound of Key Underwood died.  Underwood buried him at the crest of a hill.  He chiseled his name, date of birth and date of death on an old chimney stone and set it on his grave.  Soon other coondog owners started burying their coonhounds around old Troop and the cemetery was born.  Today more than 185 coonhounds are buried at the cemetery, and you have to be a coondog in order to be buried at the cemetery.  No other breed of dog is allowed to be buried here.   It is located a fer piece west of Tuscumbia off of highway 247 down a winding quiet road along the hills and hollers. 

   coondog information 5738 

   Southern Strangers 6029 

   Karren Pell  and friends 6168 

   Travis Wammack and snakeman band

   Janice Williams aka Coondog Lady 

Back to the moonshine still raid…,,,,in order to protect the innocent, it was a set up, all in fun. The bootlegger was quickly released.  The crowd enjoyed it and it was a great prelude to the start of the musical festivities. 

     Sam really did not get busted he is a free man 5993