Emma Crawford moved to Manitou Springs in the late 1800’s for two reasons; to be with her fiancé, and in hopes of finding a cure for her tuberculosis. She was very spiritual and, like many others who traveled here at the time, hoped the fresh mountain air and the flowing (healing) natural mineral springs would be the cure.
Emma fell in love with a part of town known as Red Mountain, rising nearly 1,500 ft above the town of Manitou Springs. One day she decided that, even in her ill health, she had to make it to the top. She ventured out early and made it to the summit. She was so inspired by the natural beauty of Red Mountain that Emma told her fiancé she wanted to be buried there if she ever succumbed to her tuberculosis.
Unfortunately, Emma died in 1891. With the help of local residents, her fiancé carried her wooden coffin to the top of Red Mountain and gave her a proper burial true to her wishes.
Years later in 1912, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company began constructing an incline to the mountain’s summit. Emma’s coffin was moved to the southern slope to make room for a large pavilion on the mountain top. However, the second burial was not done with the same respect and attention as the first, and after years of harsh winters and spring rains, Emma and her coffin came racing down Red Mountain.
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