In July of 1958, a small group of people met at Glean Maura Farm in Ashland, MA and formed a hunt club as an added attraction to the riding schools in the area. The schools would rent horses to guests for the day of the hunt. David and Virigia Sibson, their children Jane, Ann, Mike, Bill, Pete and Steve, and Peter Gage, Mary Sanborn, Bill Albin, and a few others suggested names for the new club and finally arrived at Tanheath – a combination of two names of beagles Tan and Heath.
Mary Sanborn served as the Master of Foxhounds on the first staff, with David Sibson as Field Master and Bill Albin as Huntsman. Peter Gage and Jane Sibson were the first and second Whips.
The Club incorporated in 1959 thanks to the efforts of Attorney Francis Cove II of Uxbridge, MA. In 1960, the Club was granted colors by the National Beagle Club.
From 1958 to 1966, the Club hunted a beagle pack of 10-12 couples of hounds. During this period, the annual Blessing of the Hounds was held in Ashland, MA.
In 1967, when Master Bill Albin moved to southern Rhode Island, the hunt almost fell apart. First Whip, Charles Kilcline became the Master and hunted the hounds until 1972. Tanheath’s hunting fields had swelled to 60 people, with a record of 78 for one Blessing of the Hounds at Lynbrook Farm in Southborough, MA. The beagles could no longer work in front of such a large group. So, from 1970 through 1972, the Club hunted a pack of Harriers. In 1972, Francis Cove II and Joseph Lombard, a foxhunter for 20 years and Whip with Tanheath for 4 years, became Joint Masters and the Club switched to Foxhounds.
In 1974, Mr. Lombard took over the position of Master, with his wife June Lombard serving as Joint Master. The kennel moved from Uxbrige to Medway, MA. Mr. Lombard started a long program to develop the pack – with excellent results. At its peak, the pack had 15 couples of Foxhounds.
In 1979, Mr Lombard retired as Master and Huntsman. Mrs. Margaret Mathews succeeded him. The hounds were kenneled in Millis, MA until 1982 when they were relocated to Franklin, MA.
In 1984 the Tanheath Hunt became recognized by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America and awarded the colors of beige with green trim.
Mrs. Mathews continued to hunt the hounds with Mr. Harold Schmidt, Mrs. Alice Foote, Ms. Therese Geoghegan, Ms. Margaret Keady, Mrs. June Lombard, Mr. John Dillon, and Mr. Gary Hawkins who served as Joint Masters at various times between 1979 and 1992, when Mrs. Matthews stepped down.
Mr. Gary Hawkins and Whipper-in Susan Boone became Joint Masters in 1992. The hounds moved to temporary kennels in Hopkinton, MA at the home of past Master Harold Schmidt. Susan Boone built permanent kennels at her home in Putnam, CT in 1997 where she became kennelman as well.
Throughout the following years, Gary Hawkins, Melanie Chace, and Donna Hannigan all served as Joint Masters at various times.
Bill Wentworth was elected Joint Master in 2008. In April 2014, Cathy Leinert was elected as Joint Master and Susan Boone resigned. The club re-incorporated in Connecticut, and voted to change from live hunt to a drag hunt. Sherri Colby, who had served as Whipper-in, was appointed Huntsman. A brand new kennel was constructed in North Franklin, CT, close to our fixtures.
In 2020, Cathy Leinert retired and Darcy Johnson and Kara Waldron were elected as Joint Masters along with a long-time Master Bill Wentworth.
Current members hail from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.