Emma Crawford

What would you do to remember a beloved member of the community? I bet coffin racing didn't come to mind. Since 1994, Manitou Springs Colorado partake in this annual tradition in honor of Emma Crawford. Of all things they could do, why coffin racing?

Emma came to Manitou Springs for their miracle mineral springs in the late 1800s. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis which back then was a death sentence. Unfortunately, she lost her battle at the age of 19. Her dying wish was to be buried on top of Red Mountain. Her fiancee Mr. Hildebrand and eleven other men carried her body up the 7200ft. In 1929, after years of stormy weather, her remains washed down the side of the mountain. Emma was reburied in Manitou Springs Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Some say she haunts Red Mountain.

Now, the townspeople honor her every late October with The Emma Crawford Festival. The 14th Annual Coffin Race and Parade takes place on October 25th, 2008 from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm.


TheBabysitter said…
Actually, her remains didn't wash out of her original grave on Red Mountain. In 1912 a railroad company wanted to built a route to the summit of the Mountain and they relocated Emma's coffin and remains to the other side of the mountain and re-buried her incorrectly. In 1929 her remains washed down the mountainside and layed exposed for years. She was eventually buried a third time, in the local cemetery, against her wishes.
Anonymous said…
Thank you, Babysitter, for clarifying the facts, as I was about to do. It doesn't seem Emma has been respected in her afterlife by the town of Manitou Springs. She is remembered through "ghost stories" and silly coffin races, not the most dignified legacy. She should be reburied on the mountain.
Anonymous said…
Both of you don't even know my true story
Anonymous said…
May Emma rest in peace!

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