Experience the Elegance,
Remember the Tradition
The members of the Bloomfield Open Hunt Club enjoy a wonderful legacy handed down over generations since the Club’s founding in the early twentieth century. It is with this in
mind, we highlight the unique history of the BOH…our heritage.
It was in 1917 that a small group of Grosse Pointe and “Hills” residents purchased 6.7 acres at the dirt road intersection of Bloomfield Center Road (now Long Lake Road) and Ball Line Road (now Kensington Road) for the purpose of pursuing their recreational passion of fox hunting. From that special direction, a truly unique family club has emerged.
Located on the property, the Hagerman Farmhouse (circa 1834) was utilized as the original BOH clubhouse. Additions in 1926 provided a larger kitchen and dining facilities for a growing membership. It was also in the 20’s when the club purchased its first vehicle – a Ford truck – cost $785.24. The major renovation came in 1929 with the addition of the Indoor Riding Ring – stable expansion and observation room – the current Ring Room.
The depression in the 30’s and WWII in the 40’s slowed expansion. The post war years however saw a dramatic increase in membership and its accompanying clamor for more family activities. Thus came the purchase of 88.8 acres and the construction of the Skeet Range. The first swimming pool and tennis courts were welcomed in 1955, along with a major Dining Room addition. This same year brought the erection of the lighting towers in the main outdoor show ring which enhanced the growing popularity of the nationally renowned Detroit Horse Show. A highlight of “the Hills” June social calendar was the Detroit/Motor City Horse Show. The club started hosting the show in 1934 and continued until 2000.
Although actual fox hunting ended in 1965 the equestrian facet continued to thrive with new barns and over 70 acres for riding and both indoor and outdoor rings. In the next three decades, the trend towards a wide variety of sports and recreational facilities
to the broad interest of the members took shape and
continues into the next century.
In 1996, the membership, in a bold and dramatic move, decided to replace the worn and weary historic clubhouse with a handsome, 10,000 square foot new clubhouse, built Kentucky style, in its place. Constructed of authentic wood clapboard, this two-story building is topped by copper-clad cupolas. The 21st century amenities complement the original Ring Room with its wonderful floor to ceiling fieldstone fireplace. The Ring Room has a wall of windows that look into the equestrian activity in the indoor riding ring. Every effort was made to retain the tapestry of warmth and charm so prevalent in the old clubhouse. What began in 1917 as a country place has grown into the BLOOMFIELD OPEN HUNT of today.
Bloomfield Open Hunt is “home away from home” for families and children of all ages and a scope of year-round activities unlike those of any other area club – with acres of land reminiscent of being out in the country yet so readily accessible right in the heart of the City of Bloomfield Hills.
Our six original founders might still recognize the clapboard-and-green shuttered look of our colonial buildings, the white horse-farm fencing, the spreading elms…but inside and out, they would find the BOH of the present to be quite different from their original intentions. They would find “an equestrian facility” and much, much more – truly the BLOOMFIELD OPEN HUNT has become a unique family club for all seasons.