The centerpiece of the Creekhaven property is an ancient bald cypress tree, "Monarch", whose outstretched limbs and hollowed base appear to be welcoming its guests to share in the mysteries and special beauty of this land. Previous owners estimated the age of this tree at 2,000 years old while more recent estimates by the Texas forestry have reduced that estimate closer to just 1,000 years in age. Whatever the true age of this towering tree, we can be certain that it has been witness to many joys and peaceful moments along the crystal clear spring waters of the Cypress Creek.
The nomadic Tonkowa Indians camped along the banks of the creek for hundreds of years where fish and wildlife were plentiful. In their search for gold, the Spanish Conquistadors were drawn to the cool spring waters and abundant trees that provided fuel and shelter. In the mid 1800’s settlements started to appear along the creeks and rivers of Central Texas and a mill was built just downstream from Creekhaven which became the center of commerce for this valley, and a small village was formed which is now Wimberley.
Flash floods kept destroying the mill, and in 1880 John Cude decided to move the mill out of the flood way by damming the creek approximately one half mile up stream from the mill at “Blue Hole,” and digging a ditch running on higher ground that served as a mill race. The grounds at Creekhaven were known as the “Upper Gardens” and an easement for a portion of the mill race ran through its center.
The mill was closed in 1925. The mill race continued to supply water for irrigation and power to adjacent properties for another ten years, but eventually the water was diverted back to its natural stream along the creek. In the 1930’s a small fishing cabin was built just below the Old Mill Race on the property of the “Upper Gardens.” It became a weekend retreat for Sam Johnson and his two daughters. Part of the folk lore of the property is that Sam’s daughters were very beautiful and the kids from around the valley would come to swim at Blue Hole and camp along the banks of the creek of the “UpperGardens.” Members of the UT football team were reported to have hand laid the steps leading into the creek at the property.
Sam sold the property to Jimmy and Barbara Ireland whose family had owned and operated “Gray Tools” out of Houston. They both fell in love with the property and started out by first restoring and expanding on the original cabin, and then building three more units, one of which would serve as Jimmy’s office. They had sold their company to a larger conglomerate, and spent much of their time traveling throughout Europe. The grounds of the “Upper Gardens” reminded them of the English countryside which they loved, and they made the decision to move from their Houston River Oaks home to build their new home in Wimberley. Jimmy was an engineer, and Barbara kept him busy with new ideas as he designed the new home to incorporate the four independent units into the larger main structure.
Adjacent to the home, a greenhouse was built for Barbara to raise orchids. Jimmy took great care in using the natural stone and cedar found in the WimberleyValley to blend into the hillside along the creek in English Tudor style architecture. The greenhouse was designed after the one at Queen Victoria’s “KewesGardens” using oil industry steel pipes for its frame. The house was built on top of what was the old mill race, but an open section of the race was converted into one of the property’s koi ponds just below the greenhouse.An old mill wheel was located in Geronimo,TX in an attempt to represent the Wimberley mill on the property. When that failed a small stone waterfall was created in its place. The Wimberley stained glass shop was commissioned to do various pieces throughout the home representing different stories of the family history.
Jimmy suffered a stroke and died shortly before the house was completed.
Barbara decided to rent out the independent units now attached to the main house in what became Wimberley’s first Bed and Breakfast. Barbara, an accomplished musician and singer, renamed the property “Singing Cypress Gardens.” She remarried and shared her home and the beauty of her property with travelers to Wimberley for over twelve years. Barbara, an ordained minister in the Episcopalian church, consecrated a portion of the grounds along the creek where over 300 weddings took place.
In 1995 her son Bob took over the property and added a building with eight rooms in the hopes of attracting long term winter travelers who were known to come to central Texas. Two major floods hit the Wimberley Valley in 1996 and 1998 and took their toll on this beautiful property
Bill & Pat Applemen purchased the property in February of 2003. The buildings and grounds were in serious need of renovations and with over 22 craftsman and artisans working six days a week for five months, the property was reborn as Creekhaven Inn where it has served as one of the hill country’s premier lodging facilities.
Wimberley experienced two historic flooding events, May 29th and again in October. The Blanco River escaped its banks and caused untold destruction during the 'Memorial Day" flood. Later that same year Cypress creek which is the southern boundary of Creekhaven Inn escaped its banks and rose several feet. The Inn suffered some damage and the Applemans took advantage of this event by installing high efficiency air-conditioning units along with multiple other cosmetic improvements.
In May of 2018, Don and Helena Hauk were within weeks of purchasing land to build a future B&B but decided at the 11th hour to see if there any existing B&B's for sale. It was then they learned Creekhaven Inn recently come on the market. Within 24 hours a phone call to Pat Appleman was made to schedule a viewing. Synchronicity told hold from that meeting and everything fell into place from there. Over the next few months, the two couples realized there was a perfect fit and a deal was struck to have Don and Helena take over the Inn on December 1st.
New Innkeepers, Don and Helena Hauk (left) with Pat and Bill Appleman. Don and Helena both work in banking as SBA lending experts and help small business owners gain access to capital using the SBA loan programs. They both had a strong passion to own and operate a bed and breakfast and they are now living the dream.
Helena found her passion for hospitality at the young age of 14 during a summer work program at the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce in Las Cruces, NM. Her passion for hospitality continued to grow throughout high school in her work for both hotels and restaurants resulting in the pursuit of a degree in hotel and restaurant management from the Conrad N. Hilton School for Hotel and Restaurant Management. Helena’s ties to Hays County date back to her days over a decade ago when she was the executive director of the KYLE Area Chamber of Commerce.
Don worked as the Assistant Innkeeper at The Inn Above Onion Creek from 2008-2013. It was here that he found his passion for the bed and breakfast industry.
Don & Helena Hauk
All of our rooms come with great amenities and services. The following are just a few of the main amenities included with our rooms.
Activities in the area
Things to do, experience and take part in around our Inn
We are located close to “Blue Hole,” voted one of the top ten swim holes in Texas. Go on the Texas Wine tour, check out the local breweries and distilleries, attend one of two, live theater productions.
Enjoy listening to live music in several venues, watch the artisans at Wimberley Glass Works, visit Jacobs Well Natural Area, or view this scenic valley by Zipline. Of course shopping at the Wimberley Village Square’s 100+ shops and art galleries is a must do.
What our guests say:
Absolute wonderfulness! We love your place. So serene. You do have a treasure here. Our weekend was glorious!
We feel that we are nestled into an enchanted forest here! And then to wake up to “snow” on the ground and resting on the branches – we couldn’t have planned it better! I love the Gold Poppy. It’s like India meets Texas! I’ve never bathed in a more comfortable bath or slept in a more comfortable bed!
This property is like a scene from an enchanted fairytale – whimsical, magical, peaceful. We enjoyed every moment of our stay, watching the toads and frogs hop across the pathways, looking up at the stars through cypress treetops, drinking coffee on the bank of the cypress creek. The room is wonderful, very well appointed, it was like spending a night in old Mexico. The basket of breakfast goodies delivered to the door was also very nice. We will be back.
The opportunity to relax and unwind is a welcome chance for anyone. For my wife, self and 5 month old in the belly, it was a Godsend in the form of cozy room, delicious meal, good fellowship and the presence of nature found here. There’s something real and earnestly alive about this place. Experiencing that helps to revive the same quality in each of us, a quality that city life tends to glaze over and harden. Bill and Pat, thanks for your hospitality.
From the bath towels to the bed linens you both have done a fabulous job of promoting your guests rest and relaxation! The location is wonderful, the wildlife adorable and the breakfast yummy!
Creekhaven Inn, 400 Mill Race Lane
WImberley - Texas, 78676
This property is like a scene from an enchanted fairytale – whimsical, magical, peaceful..
400 Mill Race Lane
WImberley - Texas