Last Updated on April 23, 2021 by Kim Labriola
Forty Niner Country Club and Golf Course
The 49er neighborhood community
Known to the locals as “49ers”, the Forty Niner Country Club Estates and Golf Course is located in the green rolling desert of northeast Tucson. The neighborhood is nestled between the base of the Catalina and Rincon Mountains and bordered by the Tanque Verde Wash to the south. This area of Tucson features gorgeous mountain views and is known for the shady mesquite tree bosques.
The homes are primarily built along the fairways of the shady Forty Niner Country Club golf course typically on half acre plus lots. The streets are named in a whimsical California gold rush theme.
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Within this community there are 4 separate neighborhoods, each with their own Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions or more commonly referred to as CC&Rs. The 49er Country Club Estates neighborhood was initially platted in 1960 and features 326 lots. 49er Country Club Estates 2 & 3 have 17 and 7 lots respectively. There are 43 lots in the 49er Guest Ranch neighborhood.
History of the area
The land that the Forty Niner Country Club sits upon was once settled by Native Americans, more than 400 years ago. There has been evidence of Native American burial grounds in the areas as well.
Early Spanish settlers named a nearby spring the Tanque Verde, which translates to green pool. This oasis was located near what is now Tanque Verde Road and Soldier Trail.
Evans School for Boys – circa 1921
The Evans School for Boys was opened in the area in 1921 as a boarding school for wealthy families from the eastern US, as a place to toughen up young men, in part due to the popularity of Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, Teddy Roosevelt enrolled 2 of his sons in the school in Mesa, Arizona. The school started out in Mesa in 1902, before moving to Tucson in 1921 due to the growth of the Mesa area.
The ranch had horses, a swimming pool, and tennis courts. The teachers were usually well educated Ivy League men with a student to teacher ratio of 3:1. A horse was assigned to each of the 30 or so students to feed and care for. Tuition in the 1930s was $1600 per year which included room and board. The summers were spent in the southern Arizona mountains.
More recently, the area was used as ranching land. In 1949 the area became known as 49ers Ranch, which was open from November to May, accommodated 60 guests at the colorfully painted dude ranch.
“The corporation which bought the school has “dolled up” some of the 70 or more buildings on the property to resemble a California gold rush town in the days of 1849.”Arizona Daily Star article in 1950
The ranch also raised horses for racing in the southwest region. The 49ers Ranch advertised ranch vacations to cold climate residents, touting moonlit horseback rides, swimming in a heated pool, and golfing.
The ranch was a draw for many visitors to the desert southwest, including the original Blondie comic strip artist Chic Young in 1950.
Current neighborhood amenities
The 49er golf course
The centerpiece of the neighborhood is a golf course with great mountain views. Mature mesquite, cottonwood, eucalyptus, and weeping willow make their homes here. The walkable course was built along a wooded riverbed.
The 110-acre Forty Niner Golf Course was designed by William Frances Bell, and opened in 1961. Bell was a prominent golf course architect in the 1950s and 60s. The developer was Hank Leiber, native of Phoenix, who moved to Tucson to attend and pitch baseball for the University of Arizona. Prior to his career in real estate development, Hank Leiber played major league baseball from 1933 to 1942 for the New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs.
Did you know the club hosted the PGA Tour Tucson Open in 1963-1964? And it’s the only Tucson golf course that Jack Nicklaus had competed at.
Golf club membership is not limited to residents of 49er Country Club Estates.
Other neighborhood amenities
In addition to the golf course, the 49ers Country Club also features a driving range, putting green, golf shop, gym with fitness classes, locker rooms, swimming pool, children’s playground, little free library, and restaurant.
Club Rincon Mountain Grill is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant is also available to host events and parties indoors and out.
Forty Niner Neighorhood Home Owners Association
The HOA in 49er Country Club is voluntary and the fee to join is low.
The neighborhood hosts quite a few events throughout the year such as:
- St. Patrick’s Parade
- Community yard sale
- Sock Hop and Car Show
- Halloween Party
- Holiday Party and tree lighting
A few favorite things about the 49er Country Club Neighborhood:
- The sense of community with plenty of neighborhood events.
- Location in the peaceful Tanque Verde Valley area of northeast Tucson.
- The mature trees and landscaping throughout the neighborhood.
- The variety of homes: This is not a cookie-cutter master-planned community.
- Large lots, typically a half acre or larger.
- The variety of neighborhood amenities available.