Since 400 Mill Race Lane became the first Wimberley Bed & Breakfast back in the early 1980’s it has seen three proprietors, the Irelands, the Applemans, and the Hauks. Below is a brief history of 400 Mill Race Lane. The largest and oldest Wimberley, Texas bed and breakfast inn.


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 Wimberley Valley 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.

Your Hosts, Don & Helena Hauk

Since December, 2018

For years, both Don and Helena 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 is also an accomplished photographer and is responsible for the majority of the photographs documenting the inn and its evolution since they took over December, 2018.

Photo of Creekhaven inn innkeepers

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