Tag Archives: Grandma Gatewood

Trail Magic “Live” #1 Don’t Believe Everything You Read…

30 Jan

This is the first of four short segments that feature Anne McEvoy as Grandma Gatewood. This was recorded at a rehearsal for the play of the same name that was staged last summer at TrueNorth Cultural Arts Center. The play was written as a first person narrative that presents Emma Gatewood’s persona and wit. The play was written by Kelly Boyer Sagert and helps provide scripting for the “Trail Magic” documentary now in production.

Eden Valley Enterprises will be co-hosting with “Women Making Moves” several live “Ohio Women, Then and Now” for Women’s history month presentations as a fundraiser for the documentary.

For more information go to http://edenvalleyenterprises.org/progdesc/gatewood/2014events/march/owtnseries.htm

We’re the lead story in the Ohio Historical Society’s Newsletter January issue

11 Jan

Your Tax Return Can Make History


In 1955, 67-year-old Emma “Grandma” Gatewood hiked the 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail — the first woman ever to hike the entire trail solo.

A native of Gallipolis, Ohio, Gatewood had lived through the Depression and raised 11 children in an abusive marriage. Years after she’d divorced her husband and her children were grown, Gatewood read a story about the Appalachian Trail in National Geographic that noted that only five men had hiked the entire trail by themselves, and that no woman had. It spurred her to grab her sneakers and strike out for the trail.

A Symbol for Overcoming Adversity
After conquering the Appalachian Trail, she hiked it two more times, hiked the Oregon Trail and helped found the Buckeye Trail in Ohio. From age 67 until her death, she hiked more than 10,000 miles and became a symbol for overcoming adversity to achieve the seemingly impossible. To honor her achievements, in 2012 the Ohio General Assembly declared April 27 as “Emma ‘Grandma’ Gatewood Day.”



Grandma Gatewood’s Bakeless Bake Sale

25 Nov

Belinda Bear invites you to join her for Grandma Gatewood’s Bakeless Bake Sale going on now! Thanksgving Special — purchase Belinda’s Pumpkin Pie for a donation of $25 or more and get a free copy of our DVD, “Grandma Gatewood: Ohio’s Legendary Hiker”! Help make a movie about Hiking Legend Emma Gatewood. Everyone wants to be in the movies!

Buy your piece of pie at  http://edenvalleyenterprises.org/progdesc/gatewood/bakeless/gatewoodbakesale.htm
and learn more about our project at  http://edenvalleyenterprises.org/progdesc/gatewood/gtwdinf.htm )

mmm pie

mmm pie

Lake County Historical Society Location Shoot with Anne McEvoy

18 Sep

We had a great day shooting scenes for “Trail Magic” Sunday and Bette Lou Higgins posted a PDF of our work at http://edenvalleyenterprises.org/progdesc/gatewood/images/gatewoodfilming.pdf so you can download it.  You can access it through our website with the link on page http://edenvalleyenterprises.org/progdesc/gatewood/gtwdinf.htm if you want to let other people know about it.  (Speaking of which — if you haven’t already voted for our video in the Appalachian Trail Video Contest, please do!)


Vote by clicking on this link!


Две женщины- Grandma Goes Global

30 Jul

It is amazing how Emma Gatewood inspires so many people. She ended up being featured in a blog from Russia by Sergey_Bp about a friend of his that is doing a long bike ride. Here is the link to that blog translated roughly into English by Google. http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fsergey-bp.livejournal.com%2F193440.html&act=url

For those of you that read Russian, here is the original blog

В 1955 году Эмма Гейтвуд (Emma Rowena Gatewood более известная как Grandma Gatewood) прочитала в National Geographic статью о тяжелейшем пешем маршруте через Аппалачи (Appalachian Trail) – 3489 км. В статье говорилось, что только пять человек смогли пройти его за один сезон и что, разумеется, никакой женщине это не под силу. Эмме в это время было 68 лет, она уже была матерью одиннадцати детей, бабушкой двадцати трех и прабабушкой еще еще тридцати. Женщина решила, что это хорошая идея и пошла налегке. Она пошла в кедах и взяла с собой только армейское одеяло, плащ, пластиковые занавески для душа, аптечку, одну смену одежды и небольшой запа еды. Все. У нее не было карты, компаса, путеводителя, палатки, спальника и рюкзака. Ее рацион состоял из вяленой говядины, сыра и орехов. Остальную еду она находила в лесу.
Она похудела на 15 килограммов, ее размер обуви увеличился с 8C до 8D, но она прошла весь маршрут за 142 дня. (via)

В августе 2012 г. Юля в одиночку за 14 дней проехала 602 км на трехколесном велосипеде – на “нормальном” двухколесном она тогда и ездить-то не умела. Несколько дней назад я наконец-то познакомился с ней лично, на марафоне “Суседзи 2013”, в котором она участвовала вместе с сыном.

Эмма повторила свой маршрут через 5 лет. А потом еще раз, в 75 лет. Юля, спустя год, говорит, что очень многое поменялось в ее жизни. О ее планах я не расспрашивал.

Не смотря на все различия, мне почему-то кажется, что у этих двух женщин есть очень много общего.

Elyrian raising funds to film a documentary about a woman who didn’t quit!

19 Jul

Steve Fogarty, Chronicle Telegram Online

ELYRIA — When Grandma Emma Gatewood walked the entire 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail in 1955, she became the first woman to do so by herself.


Emma Rowena Gatewood, better known as Grandma Gatewood, was the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail. She did it in 1955 at the age of 67.
She was 67 when she undertook the journey from Maine to Georgia.

Elyrian Bette Lou Higgins, who has told Gatewood’s impressive tale to many area audiences, looks to have lots of help in putting together a series of theatrically themed fundraising events through her Eden Valley Enterprises to generate money to make a $30,000 documentary about Gatewood for a Toledo PBS-TV station.

The project was initially budgeted around $90,000, but because of scheduling conflicts on the part of FilmAffects, a Put-In-Bay production company slated to make the documentary, the budget and scope of the project were scaled back when it was learned that shooting would have to begin on the Gatewood piece by the end of 2013.

“Unless something really makes it worth their while to re-arrange their schedules, or something happens to get us a lot of money in one fell swoop, it doesn’t appear likely (making a $90,000 film),” Higgins said. Funds raised locally will be matched by an Ohio History Fund Grant.



Work on the documentary is expected to extend well into 2014 and videographer Peter Huston wants to include location shooting in Gallia County in southern Ohio where Gatewood was from, and along the Grandma Gatewood Trail in Hocking Hills State Park in nearby Athens County.

“At the very least he plans to get footage in those areas,” Higgins said. “The Gatewood Trail was her favorite place.”
Gatewood is credited with helping to create the 1,400-mile-plus Buckeye Trail.

A determined woman at 5-foot-2 and 120 pounds, Gatewood didn’t back away from daunting challenges.
She had attempted to hike the Appalachian Trail in 1954 but stopped before getting very far after breaking her glasses, getting lost and being rescued by national park rangers.

She tried again in 1955, traversing the trail from May to September without a tent or backpack — taking only what fit in a knapsack and relying on strangers living near the trail for food.
Gatewood’s inspiration for the feat came from a National Geographic magazine story about the famed trail that noted it had never been conquered by a lone woman.
Gatewood hiked the Appalachian Trail twice more before her death in 1973.

While Higgins has undertaken a number of first-person portrayals of notable people, Gatewood will be played by area actress Anne McEvoy for two performances of the TrueNorth Cultural Arts show “Trail Magic” Aug. 24 at French Creek Nature Center. Plans also call for McEvoy to portray Gatewood in the documentary.
The show is written by Lorain writer Kelly Boyer Sagert, author of the sports biography “Baseball’s All-Time Greatest Hitters: Joe Jackson.”
Eden Valley Enterprises and Women Making Moves, a Cleveland-based networking business group, will partner for a series of programs in March 2014 at Lorain County Community College and the three campuses of Cuyahoga County Community College featuring McEvoy, Cathy Dice and Betty Zak, who will depict or discuss famous or infamous women in history, according to Higgins.
At a fundraiser set for June 2014 at Cleveland’s Baseball Heritage Museum, Higgins will present the story of Alta Weiss. “She was a woman whose career began in Vermilion and who put herself through medical school by playing professional baseball on a 1907 men’s team,” Higgins said.



For more “Trail Magic” http://edenvalleyenterprises.org/news0713/trailmagic.htm

“Trail Magic” stage performance premier Tickets Available

8 May

“Trail Magic” is now on the True North  box office system, the direct link to online sales is :http://sa1.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/TicketRequest?eventId=620405&presenter=TRUENORTH&venue=&event=&version=

People can purchase over the phone or in person as well

“Trail Magic” — A Festival Dedicated to the life of Emma Gatewood

8 May

produced by Eden Valley Enterprises and TrueNorth Cultural Arts
at the French Creek Nature & Arts Center
4530 Colorado Ave.
Sheffield Village, OH 44054

Emma Gatewood was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955.
Come join us for this celebration of her life!

Auditions “Trail Magic” a new play by Kelly Boyer Sagert

We’re looking for someone for the part of Emma Gatewood (age 70-ish) and for a Narrator (male or female; 50-ish). Please prepare a 1-2 minute monologue and be prepared to read from the script. The play will be directed by Rick Fortney. Schedule your audition slot by calling (440) 949-5200 Ext. 221. The performance is scheduled August 24th at 5p.m. and 7:30p.m.

The Complete TRAIL MAGIC schedule

5 -6 p.m. ~ Slip on your hiking boots and join us for a Family Hike with Senior Naturalist Amy Potonic

6:30 p.m. ~ Dinner is served!

7:30 p.m. ~ Poets in Thursday’s workshop will be invited to share their poetry at a public Poetry Reading.


10:30 a.m. ~ Senior Physical Fitness Hike.

5:00 p.m. ~ Premier presentation of “Trail Magic”, a first-person character program featuring “Grandma” Gatewood talking about her life and adventures.

6:30 p.m. ~ Pre-show Discussion on Mental Health & Self-Esteem (including domestic abuse), led by Natalie McCarthy, MSW, LSW.

7:30 p.m. ~ Encore presentation of “Trail Magic”, a first-person character program featuring “Grandma” Gatewood talking about her life and adventures.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013, noon ~ Join Buckeye Trail Association member Byron Guy for hike on the Lorain County portion of the Buckeye Trail.

Call TrueNorth at (440) 949-5200 Ext. 221 or order online.

There will be an exhibit about The Buckeye Trail and a Quilt Show to honor Emma’s quilting activities during the weekend.

This festival is being funded in part by generous grants from the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation Lorain County, Ohio History Fund, the Puffin Foundation of Teaneck, New Jersey and the Gallia County Charitable Foundation. It is part of a larger project to tell Emma’s story with FilmAffects and WGTE/PBS.

*** All dates, times and events are in the planning stages and are subject to change. Watch our Calendar Page for current information***

August 22-25
Join us on our Trail to tell Emma’ Story!

We are in the process of raising $15,000 to meet a challenge grant from the Ohio History Fund to complete a PBS documentary about Emma. You can help us meet this challenge with a tax-deductible donation.

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Katahdin’s Trail Magic

8 Oct

We just got back from a shoot in Millenocket Maine and Baxter State Park this past week. The weather was decent, the fall foliage was spectacular, and the people at the park could not have been nicer. We set out to connect with the through hikers coming in across the Hundred Mile Wilderness. We met about a dozen all enjoying Maine’s most beautiful quilt of color at the end of a six month journey. They looked a little worm down but jubilant none the less.

While we were there a hiker went missing while summiting Katahdin. It reminded us that Emma Gatewood also went missing when she first came to Baxter to start her trek. Back then many traills were across privately owned yet to forested lands. Often the trail would be marked and obvious one month and then the trees would get harvested and there would be no clear evidence of the trail anywhere. On her first attempts Emma was in one of these areas bounded by what is know as the “Golden Road” where timber is trucked out daily that crosses the AT near Rainbow Lake. Today the AMC, State of Maine, The Maine Appalachian Trail Club and the AT Conservancy work hard to make sure that the trail remains accessible and well marked regardless of the season or changes in private land usage. That was not always the case in the 50’s and 60’s before the National Scenic Trail Act of 1968.

Luckily for the the lady who went missing this year, trail markings were not the issue, she was heading up to the top of Katahdin too late in the day. It got dark and she got lost and ended up bushwhacking her way out. Thankfully she showed up a day late. Her adventure, like Emma’s points out how difficult a place this can be. Being there we got a greater appreciation for her ability to survive and succeed, especially in 1955. But when you see the park you realize that there is “trail magic” here. People you don’t know or may never meet again will go out of there way to help you.

CBC Magazine “In the green”

6 May

Nina Polien Light wrote a wonderful article in her most recent column “in the green” entitled ” ‘Grandma Gatewood’ documentary takes a hike down memory lane” in the April edition of CBC (Cleveland Business Connects) that gives a nice overview of the documentary and and storytelling project. More about the article can be found on the edenvalleyenterprises.org website