Bringing history to the present

Anne Van Curen

Grandma Gatewood

Actress Anne Van Curen transforms into Emma "Grandma" Gatewood to describe what it was like to be the first woman to solo hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955. The dramatization is based off of the book "Grandma Gatewood's Walk", which was written from accounts of Gatewood's surviving family members, newspaper magazine articles, and her own diaries and trail journals.

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Anne has performed at festivals, schools, historic memorials, and many other occasions. Pictured below with author, Ben Montgomery.

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Portraying Emma Gatewood on the observation platform at Eagle's Rest park at Mt Oglethorpe in Jasper, Georgia in March of 2018. This is the exact location where Grandma began her hike May 3, 1955.

Anne Van Curen was so able to "become" Emma Grandma Gatewood that folks in our hiking audience stated they actually forgot this was a performance! Her knowledge of the character and the Appalachian Trail was spot on!

Carrie Roller, president Happy Hikers, Knoxville

Anne Van Curen gives us a poignant performance of Rowena 'Grandma' Gatewood and how a woman of meager means conquered mountains metaphorically and literally to become the first woman to hike the A.T. in 1955. Solo. I shared an emotional experience with the audience as we witnessed Anne make the transition into character seamless

Dana Murphy, Great Smoky Mountains Association

Grandma Gatewood comes alive whenever Anne Van Curen puts on her tennis shoes, grabs her walking stick, and begins her narrative of adventures on the Appalachian Trail. A Grade A performance that makes you want to find out more--be it about Grandma Gatewood and the Appalachian Trail.

Linda P. Marcus, Reference Librarian, Blount County Public Library, Maryville, Tennessee

A truly charming personality that puts you in the shoes of Grandma Gatewood. An inspiring true story with just enough touch of humor.

Jonathan Peoples - Recreational Director, Fontana Village Resort