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Brief History of Rocky


The Rocky Fork Hunt and Country Club was founded on July 16, 1925 when five Columbus businessmen, R. G. Hanford, Douglas McCormick, Rolland M. Edmonds, Singleton P. Outhwaite and H. B. Halliday, gathered at the Athletic Club of Columbus and signed articles of incorporation for the new organization.  Albert M. Miller served as the first club President from 1925 to 1929.  However, the single most important individual in the making of Rocky Fork was Walter Jeffrey, an avid polo player and huntsman, who provided the land on which the new club would be built.

By mid-1926 the original clubhouse of native field stone in the style of a country home was completed on a high ridge with a commanding view of the property. 
The grounds and buildings were designed by noted Columbus architect and founding member R. Gilmore Hanford.

Since its founding, people have been riding to the hounds at Rocky Fork which has permitted the Rocky Fork Riding Club and its successor, the Rocky Fork Headley Hunt, to use its property.  The Headley Hunt’s annual Blessing of the Hounds ceremony is a Rocky Fork tradition.  Offering a full range of dining and social activities, Rocky Fork soon became a vital part of Columbus society, first hosting the Mid-Winter Assembly in 1928.  For many years, Rocky Fork had fewer than 100 members, many of whom were family and friends of the founders.  Today the number of voting and junior members is limited to 275.

In 1944 most of the Clubhouse was destroyed by fire.  An official re-opening was held on New Year’s Eve in 1947 with a dinner dance celebration.  Since then the Clubhouse was undergone a number of improvements, such as conversion of the manager’s apartment into The Hunt Room, while retaining the architectural style, charm and intimacy of its original design.

Over the year’s members and their families and guests have engaged in a variety of athletic activities, including polo matches, beagling, field trials, skeet shooting, ice skating, sledding and tobogganing, baseball games, swimming, tennis, bocce, paddle tennis, pickle ball, hiking and birding.  In addition to weddings and other special family gatherings, Rocky Fork has been the scene of innumerable dinner dances, cocktail parties, cookouts, family campouts, and holiday children’s parties and family buffets.
As Rocky Fork approaches its centennial year, we strive to blend the best of our traditions and history with dining and programming experiences that meets the changing expectations of today’s members.