Grandma Gatewood Tribute Statue

I represent Ohio Valley Memory Gardens in Gallipolis Ohio.  We are the cemetery where Grandma Gatewood is laid to rest. 

The story of Emma Gatewood  affectionately known as Grandma Gatewood, began when she read a National Geographic magazine from August 1949, about the Appalachian Trail.   The article made it appear that this was an endeavor that could be accomplished with ample shelters and camping spots along the way within a days walk.   Emma's first attempt to walk the trail was  in 1954. She started in Maine and within a few weeks she had broken her glasses and been off course for several days. When park rangers from Maine found her they basically told her she should go home.   Undeterred by her failure, she went home to regroup.  By 1955 she was determined to start again.  On May 3, 1955 a 67 year old grandmother from Ohio set out determined to be the first woman to walk the entire Appalachian Trail from start to finish in a single season.   By the end of her journey in 1955 from Mount Oglethorpe Georgia to Mount Katahdin Main, Emma Gatewood aka Grandma Gatewood became a national celebrity.

While Emma has always had her share of visitors.  In the last several years, since the PBS airing of Trail Magic The Grandma Gatewood Story and New York times best seller Grandma Gatewood's Walk, written by Ben Montgomery.  The inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail.  The story is being told to a whole new generation of backpackers and hiking enthusiasts.

Not hardly a week goes by without someone calling or a visitor coming to the office wanting to know where Emma Gatewood is buried.  In Ben Montgomery's book Grandma Gatewood's Walk, on Page 255 "When I'm dead and gone," Emma told her daughters Lucy and Louise once, in a tone that was certain and not at all arrogant, "they're going to erect monuments to me".

That is Exactly what we want to do!

The proposed monument, a life size bronze statue with amazing detail.  The stand will be mounted on a granite pedestal with 2 bronze plaques attached. One to tell her story with a photo collage and perhaps some of her poetry and the other a list of her accomplishments.

Emma's Granddaughter has agreed to help design the bronze plaques  with photos and memorabilia that are from her personal collections.

When you learn the story of what Grandma Gatewood endured in her personal life and overcame, everyone from Backpackers, Hikers, Climbers, Outdoor Enthusiasts to the Me To Movement, should support the effort to make sure this amazing woman's story is never ever forgotten

Donations (142)

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  • Sylvia Cazares
    • $50 
    • 19 d
  • Maureen Gatewood
    • $100 
    • 29 d
  • Eric Albrecht
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
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Fundraising team (7)

Paul Maxwell
Gallipolis, OH
Anne Van Curen
Team member
Bette Lou Higgins
Team member
Bridgette Mongeon
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Diana Maurer
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