The Gilded Age, 1880 - 1930
The Asheville Urban Trail Station 6. Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.
On the side of the Wachovia Bank Building on Patton Avenue a metal bower of medicinal herbs houses a bench and head of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, a former Asheville resident and the first woman awarded a medical degree in the United States. Dr. Blackwell was a pioneer in medicine for women and children. The bronze representation of Dr. Blackwell was sculpted by Jim Barnhill.
The accompanying plaque reads, "Dr. Blackwell was the first woman awarded a medical degree in the United States. She began her medical studies in Asheville in 1845 under Dr. John Dickson, for whom she taught music at Dickson's private school for girls. The school was located on the site of the Drhumor building. Elizabeth Blackwell was an 1849 graduate of Geneva Medical College in western New York. Placed by Buncombe County Medical Auxiliary and Buncombe County Medical Society."
The Asheville Urban Trail creates a living, historic walking tour of Asheville: a museum without walls, that illustrates and highlights the city's heritage. Along the Urban Trail the history of the city and of its people is represented in story and art. The Urban Trail was begun by the City of Asheville as part of its ongoing program to improve the quality of our city through the display of public art. The Trail was designed by volunteers and built with donations from individuals, groups, and organizations who wish to leave a lasting legacy to their community.
Thirty "stations" are or will be highlighted on the trail, with new additions made periodically. Each has its own story. The 1.6 mile loop is divided into five distinct themes in the city's social history. Pink granite markers embedded in the sidewalks reflect the themes and provide a way to follow the route of the trail.