In spring 1845, Elizabeth Blackwell was a well-read 24-year-old with no income and no interest in marriage. She needed a plan to support herself, but options for educated women were limited. She could take up a post as a schoolteacher, or she could become a nurse, as Florence Nightingale would later do (the two women became friends in London in 1850). Instead, she decided to go to medical school, knowing she would be the first woman to do so. To save money for medical school, she accepted a teaching position at the Reverend Dr. John Dickson’s Female Seminary (later called the Female College) in Asheville, at its early location near the corner of Patton Avenue and Church Street.