The Historical Property at Haystack Mountain

Our Land

The land from which Haystack Mountain Golf Course was carved is entrenched in Native American and U.S. history. In the early 1800's, Chief Niwot (or Left Hand) and his Arapahoe tribe chose this land and its surrounds as their winter home. Haystack Mountain served as a high lookout for small herds of buffalo, its sunny slope provided protection from harsh winds, and Left Hand Creek ran with fish and clear mountain water. In 1858, history reports that Chief Niwot was the Indian who met the first settlers coming into the region, and many more followed.

Eventually, with the continuing unrest between the settlers and the Indians, Chief Niwot moved his tribe to eastern Colorado near Sand Creek. There at the Battle of Sand Creek, Chief Niwot was killed. According to legend, members of his tribe who escaped death in the massacre brought his body back and buried him on his beloved Haystack Mountain.

Another early resident, Jacob Affolter, a white settler in 1860, chose the Haystack area to build a sturdy cabin constructed of hand hewn logs. This cabin was his family home, and because of its large size and sturdiness, it became the first meeting house in the area. It stood just west of Haystack's 5th tee. The Longmont Historical Society has since moved it to Old Mill Park where it stands today.

The 240 acre tract of land including Haystack Mountain, the land south to Niwot Road and north to Oxford Road was purchased by the Ebel family in 1963 from Holland & Pearl Payne. Owners for twenty-five years, the Paynes ran cattle, raised pigs, and grew grass hay. Holland and Pearl Payne’s home was the original 1850s settler’s shack with a small farm house addition. This settler's home remains today with additions built around it - space needed for the eventual Ebel family of six children.

Other original structures of the early 1900s still remain. The horse barn stores golf equipment; close by is the superintendent's office and shop. Also, ranch buildings and pig houses stand west of the 1st tee.

From the start, the Ebel family put it's "shoulder to the wheel." The seed money for the land purchase came from household savings and family members. With no "finance package" for the buying of equipment, creative ways had to be found to get a golf course built on Colorado's rocky-river bottom land. A large vegetable garden was planted. Chickens were raised.

Other workers came – people who needed a temporary place to live. They installed irrigation pipes. They picked up rocks.

One shining example of a man who did all of that was, Vernon Brown. At 75 years young, after riding a tractor, laying pipe, planting corn, his cheerful invitation to supper would be, "Have you et yet?" Vernon was a kindly inspiration to hard work, friendship, and the future of Haystack.

In honor of Vernon, Haystack's little restaurant of the late 70's was named the "Et Yet? Inn". The Et Yet? Inn became well known for its emphasis on healthful freshly prepared food served in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Even though, by the 80s, the golf course was becoming popular in the community, clouds were forming on the Ebel family's horizon. During those tough years, a wonderful family came along and ran the business for the Ebels. Clay Johns, managed the grounds, and his mother, Helen, was in charge of the clubhouse. A cheerful, honest, hard-working family, they kept Haystack customers coming back to the same welcoming family atmosphere that had been achieved through much sacrifice.

After management was returned to the Ebels in the 90s, major improvements on the course and innovative programs for golfers were implemented. Today, Haystack is building its reputation as a teaching course. CJ, son of the owner, brought to Haystack the No Embarrassment Golf School, and this plan for beginner-friendly play has earned it accolade nationally. The driving range tee is three times its original size. A short game practice area and an all weather instruction and practice building is complete. Tees have been enlarged and holes lengthened to add challenge for every level of golfer.

Since the 1800s, this land has been cherished for its beauty, bounty, adversity, and challenge. Today, Haystack Mountain Golf Course remains a place where golfers of all ages and abilities can play in a relaxed, natural and historical setting. What better place for the game of golf?