Old Coaly
Born in Kentucky in 1855, Coaly came to Pennsylvania in 1857 with his owner, Piersol Lytle, whose son Andy was among 200 workmen engaged in constructing Old Main. Along with three other mules and two horses, Coaly hauled limestone blocks to the construction site from a quarry located on what is today a part of the Old Main lawn, near the intersection of College Avenue and Pugh Street. The five-story building was completed in 1863. Penn State then purchased Coaly for $190, a high price for that era, reflecting his reliability and great capacity for work.

Coaly spent the next thirty years handling a variety of tasks on the campus and surrounding farms. He was a favorite of the students, and served as their informal mascot long before the advent of the Nittany Lion. So great was their affection for “Old” Coaly that after his death on Jan. 1, 1893, his skeleton was preserved. It has had numerous resting places, including a wildlife museum in the original Old Main, the basement of Watts Hall, the attic of the old Penn State veterinary hospital, the Agricultural Administration Building, the Ag Arena, and currently in the HUB-Robeson Center.