Elizabeth Blackwell Monument, Asheville
James Barnhill, Sculptor
Joe Miller, Sculptor
A metal arbor of medicinal herbs houses a bench and the bust of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. An accompanying plaque provides a brief biography of Blackwell, who was the first woman to be awarded a medical degree in the United States.
The medicinal plants represent wild yam, Virginia creeper, sycamore, sweet gum maple, oak sassafras, witch hazel, and tulip poplar. Each of the plants incorporated are native to North Carolina and were used for medicinal purposes. The seats on the bench are made to look like gingko leaves.
Image: Bronze plaque
ELIZABETH BLACKWELL, M.D. / 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
City of Asheville; Asheville Urban Trail
The ceramic bust and plaque were dedicated in 1994 while the rest of the monument was constructed in 1999 when the bust proved too fragile to stand alone in the elements.
35.594750 , -82.553490 View in Geobrowse
"Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell," National Library of Medicine (accessed May 27, 2014) Link
"Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)," National Women's History Museum (accessed May 27, 2014) Link
"Elizabeth Blackwell Memorial," Himetop The History of Medicine Topographical Database (accessed May 27, 2014) Link
"The Blackwell Memorial on the Asheville Urban Trail," Hobart and William Smith Colleges, (accessed May 23, 2014) Link
Asheville Area Arts Council. Urban Trail Study Guide (Asheville, NC: Asheville City Schools, 2003).
Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Elizabeth Blackwell: First Woman Physician," About Women's History, (accessed May 23, 2014) Link
MacLean, Maggie. "Elizabeth Blackwell," Civil War Women, June 5, 2006, (accessed May 23, 2014) Link
Schiller, Hannah. "Asheville's Urban Trail," The Laurel of Asheville (accessed May 27, 2014) Link
Stroud, Mike. "Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org (accessed May 27, 2014) Link
Bronze plaque and bust
Wrought iron bench and arbor
Buncombe County Medical Auxiliary and Buncombe County Medical Society <br><br> Mary Whiting Ewing Foundation <br><br> Wachovia Bank
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. Her medical studies started 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 (pronounced "drummer") Building, which is directly across from where the monument is located.
Blackwell's tenure in Asheville was very brief before she moved on to Charleston to live with Dickson's brother, a well-respected Charleston doctor. Though her time spent in Asheville was brief, Reverend Dickson actively encouraged her to pursue a medical degree at a time when no women were given the opportunity to attain a formal medical education. Blackwell explained that Dickson's positive reassurance helped her move forward and follow her medicinal dreams.
The monument is part of Asheville's Urban Trail, a walking tour of the city's downtown, highlighting historic people and events relevant to Asheville.
The monument is located along Patton Avenue near the intersection with Church Street.
The monument is located on the side of the Wachovia Bank building.
The monument is used as a stop on the Asheville walking tour.