‘Trail Magic’ screening coming March 15

Staff Report

A viewing of “Trail Magic,” a documentary about Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, will be held at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 15 at Kendal at Oberlin’s Heiser Auditorium.

Gatewood, at age 67, became the first woman to solo through-hike the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail in 1955.

As part of Women’s History Month, the Oberlin Heritage Center has partnered with Kendal’s Third Thursday program series to host the 50-minute Emmy-nominated film. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with film producer Bette Lou Higgins of Eden Valley Enterprises.

The event is free and open to the public with special thanks to the 1830 Hallauer House Bed & Breakfast in Oberlin.

Emma Caldwell (1887-1973) was born in Gallia County, Ohio, and married Perry Gatewood at the age of 19. Although the marriage was an abusive one, she remained until their 11 children were grown. In 1940, she divorced her husband and began a new life seeking peace, adventure, and fulfillment.

Later, she would become the first person to hike the Appalachian Trail two – and later three – times. In addition, during her lifetime, Gatewood completed the 2,000-mile hike of the Oregon Trail and traveled to every state in the continental U.S.

The Grandma Gatewood documentary grew out of a one-act play created by local writer Kelly Boyer Sagert and presented by Eden Valley Enterprises in 2013. The film debuted two years later and featured local actress Anne McEvoy as Emma Gatewood.

“Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story” was directed by Peter Huston of Film Affects, produced by Eden Valley Enterprises, and made possible in part by a grant from the Ohio History Connection’s History Fund. The fund is supported exclusively by voluntary donations of Ohio income tax refunds and designated gifts to the Ohio History Connection.

For more information, call 440-774-1700 or email members@oberlinheritage.org.

Staff Report