Emma Crawford Coffin Races: Team Tumbleweed
Get ready, get set, GO!
In the spirit of community and teamwork Tumbleweed Tiny House Company participates in the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races in Manitou Springs, Colorado. On Saturday, October 28, we attended the festivities in the mountain town known for its eclectic atmosphere. It was the 23rd year that visitors gathered together to honor one of Manitou Springs’ most notable residents from the past. Team Tumbleweed was ready to race!
Emma Crawford moved from Boston to Manitou Springs in 1889 to find relief and a possible cure for her tuberculosis. Manitou Springs offered what she hoped would be a miracle cure, as she sought therapy from the many natural mineral springs around the town. She lost her battle with the disease on December 4th, 1891.
Why is her life honored with a coffin race?
Emma’s lover, William Hildebrand, and eleven other men fulfilled her dying wish. Her burial on top of Red Mountain required them to carry her body up a 7,200 ft mountain slope. When Emma arrived in Manitou Springs, she became interested in the paranormal activities that were rumored to be taking place in Manitou. Most notably, she claimed to have seen the spirit of Red Chief, who was said to roam the top of the mountain. Her obsession with the mountaintop would eventually lead to her death because she overexerted herself on a hike.
In 1912 her body was moved to the south slope of the mountain, to make room for railroad projects in the area. A couple of years after her relocation, the mountain area experienced a torrential storm that dislodged her from her resting place. Her coffin broke apart as it swept into the canyon below. Emma was “reburied” in Crystal Valley Cemetary. Her remains were never actually recovered.
At Tumbleweed, we feel that participation in local events that foster teamwork and camaraderie in the spirit of community is an essential element to any movement. Especially the tiny house movement. It’s also fun. A huge thank you to all the Tumbleweed craftspeople that made it possible for us to participate in the 2017 Emma Crawford Coffin Race this year in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Without their dedication, we wouldn’t be where we are today. See you next year Emma Crawford!