Feisty Females: Grandma Gatewood (Part I)

EmmaGatewoodShoesAfter becoming the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail solo at the age of sixty-seven in 1955, today’s “Feisty Female” remarked to Sports Illustrated upon completing the trek, “I would never have started this trip if I had known how tough it was, but I couldn’t and wouldn’t quit.”  Such was the grit and determination of Emma Gatewood, a.k.a. Grandma Gatewood – how that spirit became embodied in her is the subject of today’s article, with her story concluding next Friday.

Emma Rowena Caldwell was born on October 25, 1887 in the Guyan Township of Gallia County, Ohio to parents Hugh Wilson and Esther Evaline (Trowbridge) Caldwell, she being one of fifteen children (ten girls and five boys).

This amazing woman’s story was featured in the May 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine.  Preview the issue here or purchase here.


  1. Emma Gatewood was indeed a Feisty Female! She is also the subject of an upcoming documentary being put together by Eden Valley Enterprises and FilmAffects. The film is the final phase of a large project that includes an already competed storytelling program (with companion e-book and DVD) and a one-act play. Find out all about it at http://edenvalleyenterprises.org/progdesc/gatewood/gtwdinf.htm and see our trailers on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/grandmagatewood

    • Thanks for stopping by! I loved the story of Grandma Gatewood .. what an inspiration! Thanks for the information on the film project. I’ll mention it in next week’s concluding article.

  2. Grandma Gatewood stayed with us for awhile when she hiked the Oregon Trail. I walked a few steps with her. She had a significant and powerful influence on my life. I have traveled the world, mostly by hitchhiking in my younger years. She was a godsend. What an inspiration to so many…

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your remembrance of Grandma Gatewood! I agree, what an inspiration she was.

  3. Hey, if you wouldn’t mind sharing your sources with me, I would really appreciate it.

    • Sources for the Grandma Gatewood story?

  4. Thank You!!! God Bless Emma!!!



  1. Surname Saturday: Trowbridge | Diggin' History - […] ← Feisty Females: Grandma Gatewood (Part I) […]
  2. Feisty Females- Emma Gatewood | Grandma (Emma) Gatewood - […] out Sharon’s article about Emma Gatewood at http://historydepot.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/feisty-females-grandma-gatewood-part-i […]
  3. Book Review Thursday: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail | Diggin' History - […] that in tomorrow’s concluding article on “Feisty Female” Grandma Gatewood (read Part One here).   Ben Montgomery’s book relies heavily…
  4. Best of Fridays: 2014 Reader Favorites | Diggin' History - […] Feisty Females:  Grandma Gatewood (Part One) and Part Two (150) – This was the most inspirational “Feisty Female” story…

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