Nashoba Valley Hunt – A Brief History
Former members of the Groton hunt, which was disbanded earlier that year, founded Nashoba Valley Hunt in 1964. The Groton Hunt was established in 1922. Recognized by the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association in `1923 and the Country recorded by the Masters of Foxhounds Association in 1925.
The Danielson Family of Groton was among the most active supporters.
Richard Ely Danielson was Master of Foxhounds from 1922—1936.
Mrs, Danielson took over the mastership from 1936 to 1941.
During World War 11 the Groton Hunt like many other hunts became inactive as most of the members were serving in the Armed Forces.
The hunt was reactivated in 1947 and William McGuckin was master from 1947 to 1950
Charles Farnsworth and William Almy were joint masters from 1951 to 1952
Betty Dumaine was appointed a joint master from 1951 to 1953
Miss Dumaine had been a joint master of the Golden Vale Hunt in Co. Wexford, Ireland from 1949 to 1951.
Charles Farnsworth was master until 1955.
Janet Hamilberg Carter was appointed master in 1955 and remained master until the hunt was disbanded in 1964. During which time the hounds had been kenneled at her home Rock Maple Farm in Pepperell.
In the summer of that year a resolute group of horsemen met and determined to continue foxhunting in the area.
Nashoba Valley hunt was formed and Dr. Carl Johnson was appointed master.
Huntsman Michael Murphy with Nashoba Valley Hounds 1964
Mr. Quincy Adams, Dr. Carl Johnson MFH and Michael Murphy Huntsman with Nashoba Valley Hounds 1969.
The Ross Estate on Oak Hill St. in Pepperell was purchased. This land could not have been more suitable for the purpose. There were 44 acres of rolling fields and groves, a trout stream and 150 square miles of hunting country all around.
Michael Murphy on Daystar 1964
Michael Murphy riding Thunder Road with English Pack.
Michael Murphy was appointed professional huntsman and took up residence at the huntsman’s house on the property. Murphy was an excellent horseman and had been a kennel huntsman at the Radnor hunt in Pennsylvania. He was born in Thurles, in Ireland, where he had been active in the IRA between the ages of 15 and 22 when his father sent him packing to the United States suppossedly so that Mike who had just had another bad fall riding steeplechasers could find work away from horses.
This was not to be as Mike immediately found work in Boston riding in a rodeo. He quickly found better work training horses for the Thayer family in Lancaster, Massachusetts and from there onto the Radnor hunt.
Nashoba Valley Hunt acquired a small pack of English foxhounds from Mr. Stewart,s Cheshire Foxhounds in Unionville Pennsylvania and Mike Murphy quickly set about establishing a breeding and training program.
Hounds hunted on Wednesdays and Saturdays with about 40 to 45 members on Saturdays and bout 10 to 15 on Wednesdays.
Membership came from Rhode Island, New Hampshire and in Massachusetts from Boston, Lincoln, Weston, Wayland and of course the surrounding communities.
In 1969 Honora Haynes who had hunted many years with the now disbanded Millwood hunt was appointed a joint master with Carl Johnson.
Mr. Niall Powell MFH and his daughter Ellen Powell
In 1970 Carl Johnson retired as a joint master and Niall Powell was appointed to take his place. John Quincy Adams who had been whipping in since 1969 joined him in 1972.
John Quincy Adams was the only master from 1973 to 1975.
In 1975 John McMaster was appointed joint master and Honora Haynes was reappointed a joint master in 1978
Mr. John McMaster MFH, Miss Honora Haynes MFH and Mr. John Quincy Adams MFH.
John Quincy Adams, John McMaster and Honora Haynes held the office of joint masters until 1989 when all three retired after many years of hard work and dedicated service.
While strong leadedship is essential to the survival of a hunt club, long term and loyal membership is the backbone of the organisation
Nashoba Valley Hunt has benifited from the selfless generosity and input of many great people.
Mrs. Jeannette Perron MB with Nashoba Happy.
Jeannette Perron a longtime member who has held the office of Field Secretary and is currently Master of the Beagle Pack. Jeannette’s hunt breakfasts are famous and never to be missed goumet feasts. Jeannette and her many past field hunters, from May Queen to Porche to Pen Dragon were always a reassuring sight to a nervous rider on the hunt field.
Paula Rechnitz who served as Honorary Secretary of the hunt from 1966 to 1974 was one of the longest serving officers.
Stacy Benson hunted first with the Groton Hunt and then Nashoba for a total of over 60 years and for several years kept the hounds at his home on Farmers Row in Groton.
Mrs. Kerry Glass MFH of Norfolk Hunt with her beloved hounds.
Kerry Glass was a founding member of the Nashoba, she whipped in for several years and then was appointed joint master and Honorary huntsman of Norfolk hunt in 1970, where she bred a famous line of drag hounds, descendents of two brilliant American hounds “Hoover” and “Havelry”
Beth Davis whipped in for many years and is an excellent horsewoman
William Kingman joined Nashoba shortly after it was established and has served for many years as President of the Executive Committee and as Field Master Bill has always been a font of great stories and hunting knowledge and as Field Master he and his great field hunter Kilcullen have given scores of inexperienced and experienced foxhunters thousands of hours of great riding.
Nancy Kingman hunted on her connamara Camnoc Ronan and served as Publicity Officer for the hunt from 1968 to 1998.
Dick Field was appointed kennel huntsman in 1975 to assist Mike Murphy who had semi retired.
Dick Field had previously been kennel huntsman at Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds. In 1978 Dick became professional huntsman.
Dick bred English hounds and for 15 years Nashoba Valley Hunt won the English Championship at the New England Hunts Hound Show.
Dick retired in 1989.
Lynn Mitchell Sugar (on grey horse) served as whipper in for many years.
Judith Keating whipped in for many years and was very active in the breeding and training of the hounds. (We need a photo)
Henry Coffey for many years followed the hounds on foot with his infamous jack russell terrier Patrick at heel. Henry was club Treasurer from 1989 to 2000. When he retired to Nevada
In 1987 Daphne Taylor was appointed joint master and still serves in that position today
Betsy Reeves served as joint master from 1989 to 1991. Gail DiScipio served as Honorary Secretary from 1989 to 2003
Judy and Mike Kobolarsik hunted and whipped for Nashoba for many years until they moved to Maine.
In 1991 Edmund Taylor was appointed Joint Master and Honorary Huntsman and he is still active in this position.
Edmund J. Taylor MFH (Honorary Huntsman) and Russell Therrien MFH (Field Master)
Hunting season runs from opening meet in September to whenever the snow and ice make the footing too treacherous usually around December.
Nashoba Pack is made up of 8 couples purebred Welsh hounds and 4 couples of American Walker hounds. Nashoba Valley Hunt is the only pack in United States that breeds and hunts pure Welsh hounds.
Beginning in 1989 the English hounds were replaced by pure Welsh hounds drafted from the Plas Machynlleth, Gelligaer, Caerphilly and David Davies hunts in Wales. Several crosses within these bloodlines produced the S line and the M line.    Pure Welsh hounds from these crosses hunt very well with our old line Virginia Walker hounds.   In 2000 Nashoba was given two bitch pups one from the Irfon and Towy and one from the Breacon hunts in Wales. With these two hounds it is hoped to add to the gene pool.
In most mounted foxhunting casting the hounds follows the original English method that is the entire pack is released into covert all at once. Because of dense forest and rugged terrain Nashoba hounds are hunted in the fashion of French hunting, that is using a “Tufter” or Strike hound always an American Walker. This hound, which is cast alone ahead of the pack, finds a line or scent trail of the fox or coyote and speaks on the line. The huntsman brings on the pack the hounds “hark to” the strike hound and the chase begins.