By Jim Miles
The Bird Dog Capital of the World
Henry Berol, a New York millionaire and heir to the Eagle Pencil Company, arrived in Burke County in the 1950s and started purchasing small farms to create Di-Lane Plantation. There he created a major quail hunting preserve and helped to organize the Georgia Field Trials, a national annual bird dog competition. Before long Waynesboro was famous as the Bird Dog Capital of the World, a fact proudly proclaimed on the town’s water tower. Berol kept a stable of 50 to 60 pointers, each receiving individual care from their owner. Trainers from across the nation flocked to Burke County to train their dogs.
The Bird Dog Cemetery
In the center of the plantation Berol established a bird dog cemetery, containing the graves of 70 animals, each with a personalized gravestone. Rexall was “a great champion but never won a title,” Bear Brummel, “Elaine’s first sweetheart,” and Mary Mischief, “faithful matron that drowned.” Spanky Delight, born March 15, 1943, died January 22, 1954, was, “One of the great grouse dogs in the world, a great bird dog and a pal.”
Berol died in 1976 and the Army Corps of Engineers purchased the 8,100 acre plantation as a public wildlife area, managed by Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources.
“We get a fair number of visitors who come by just to see the cemetery,” said Haven Barhill, a state wildlife biologist. “People have asked if they could bury their dog here, too. We have to tell them it’s closed.”
Jim Miles is the author of two Weird Georgia books, seven books about Georgia ghosts and eight books about the Civil War. To see all of his books go to the Jim Miles Author Page on Amazon. Order autographed books or contact Jim directly at firstname.lastname@example.org