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When Opportunity Tommyknocks: How to House Mythical Miners
October 26, 2021

When Opportunity Tommyknocks: How to House Mythical Miners

by The CE Shop Team

These Tommyknockers Need a Mountain Home

Mining is a tough and dirty job, requiring workers to spend hours in deep underground tunnels with limited light and ventilation. In the 1800s, Colorado miners became accustomed to most noises within the tunnels from moving fault lines, dynamite charges, and heavy machinery over time. But one recurring noise had a much stranger origin. 

Have you ever heard of the Tommyknockers?


Tales of the Tommyknocker

Tommyknockers are gnome-like creatures said to inhabit mines. Cornish and Welsh miners brought tales of these tricksters to the U.S. starting in the early 1800s. Tommyknockers are small enough to enjoy the tight nooks and crannies of caves: Most imagine these mini miners to be around two feet tall, and they’re described as grizzly creatures.

An old miner’s ballad paid tribute to the Tommyknockers: 

“'Ave you 'eard of the Tommyknockers

In the deep dark mines of the west

Which Cornish miners 'ear?

And 'tis no laughin' jest,

For I'm a Cornish miner,

An' I'll tell you of it today,

Of the "knock-knock-knock" of a tiny pick,

As we work in the rock and clay.”

Thought to be largely benevolent, Tommyknockers were believed to knock on the tunnel walls to warn miners of incoming danger. They were also tricksters that were blamed for hiding tools, extinguishing lights, and stealing food. Despite their good nature, spotting a Tommyknocker meant death was coming. Given that no miner has lived to tell their story of seeing a Tommyknocker, we can’t confirm whether or not they’re omens of death, but we imagine the sight of a strange creature in an ill-lit mine would scare us to death, too.

Though these miniature miners fizzled out of folklore in the 20th century, their legendary status in Colorado has lived on through establishments like Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs. The bar began serving drinks in 1859 to meet the needs of prospectors during the Colorado Silver Boom, so it’s no surprise that they decided to pay homage to the fiendish yet fun-loving creatures.

If you’d like to hear more about the Tommyknockers, including a tale from a former mine tour guide, check out the video below:

Now that you know what Tommyknockers are, it’s time to dig into this home search.

Mountain Retreats for the Tommyknockers

As diminutive beings, Tommyknockers don’t require much space to live and enjoy the company of their miner brothers. Additionally, Tommys have accrued plenty of wealth through their work in the mines over the centuries. The average price for a home in Colorado is $516,875, which is more than attainable for these hardworking miners. Let's see what gems we can find!

Drake, CO - $265,000

Off-Grid Cabin in Drake, CO

This unique, completely off-grid cabin sits on a quiet and secluded 5.5-acre property. The 1-bed home features a cozy kitchen and living space. While it appears cramped for a human, this cabin is perfect for Tommyknockers who might even call this it "spacious." The surrounding grounds are covered in aspens and evergreens, providing a perfect retreat for any Tommys seeking fresh air. 

Basalt, CO - $6,900,000

Several Log Cabins in Basalt, CO

The second property in our home search is truly a special listing located on Woods Lake Road. This listing includes four fully furnished cabins. In total, there are 7 beds and 3.5 bathrooms, all sitting on 337 acres. Tommy and his friends can relax and recuperate in the additional cabins on the property, which boast a sauna and a boathouse. This expensive abode offers everything these miners need to unwind after spending their days in dark and dusty tunnels.   

Aspen, CO - $39,000,000

Mountain Mansion in Aspen, CO

The final home on our house hunt brings us to Aspen, where the uber-wealthy come to relax in the Rockies. This home sits on 17 acres and features 9 bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, and a 5,000-sq.-ft outside deck. The grounds offer two ponds, waterfalls, fire pits, and multiple lounge spaces so residents can enjoy plenty of time with Mother Nature. Given how much space this property grants, Tommy and his pals can invite their whole clan for mountain-shaking parties whenever they’d like. 

Now only one question remains... What do you get a Tommyknocker for his closing gift? Let us know in the comments down below!

Ready to Start Your Colorado Real Estate Courses With The CE Shop?

Enroll in our Pre-Licensing program now to get your career started and begin connecting your fellow Coloradans with the real estate they’re looking for, or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive, 100% online Continuing Education packages. Want to keep up with the latest news? Join our Mountain West Real Estate Facebook Group

Ready to Build Your Mountain West Empire With Real Estate Courses From The CE Shop?

Enroll in our Pre-Licensing program now to get your career started and begin connecting your neighbors with the home of their dreams. Or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive, 100% online Continuing Education packages. Want to stay up to date on everything real estate-related in the Mountain West?Join the Mountain West Real Estate Facebook Group!