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Grave of Beta.

Beta, Magical Mongrel

Field review by the editors.

Charlottesville, Virginia

Died 1939

Pet Cemetery.

Beta was the first of two remarkable mascots adopted by the the University of Virginia's football team, the Cavaliers. While the second dog, Seal, was known for his public antics, Beta had magical dog powers.

In the 1920s, a black and white mongrel, dubbed Beta after the Beta Theta Pi frat, could be seen wandering the campus at any hour. He attended college parties and socials, but didn't skimp on academic pursuits. He attended a course on Plato regularly enough that his name was called in the roll.

His dog magic kicked in after he disappeared during an away football game in Athens, Georgia. His team left without him. The campus mourned their loss. But two weeks later, Beta showed up at the Beta frat house, worn and hungry. He somehow traveled the 500 miles between Athens and Charlottesville in record time, and homed in on where he trusted a bowl of food would be waiting.

Beta was hit by a car on April 6, 1939. He was buried, with much student fanfare, at a grave site next to the University of Virginia Cemetery.

Also see: Animal Magic | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Beta, Magical Mongrel

University of Virginia Cemetery

McCormick Rd, Charlottesville, VA
University of Virginia Cemetery, NE corner of Alderman Road and McCormick Rd., west of Business 29/South Emmett Street.
Gated after hours. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
Grand Caverns, Grottoes, VA - 23 mi.

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