Discover the Underground Railroad – UPDATED

Join us on a visit to Ripley, Ohio on May 18, 2024, departure time yet to be confirmed

This intergenerational trip is designed for all who are interested in learning firsthand about those involved in the Underground Railroad.  We are encouraging families to register and join us.  We will visit three important sites in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and share a lunch of pizza and beverages.

Aspects of this trip are currently in flux, as of the Heirloom’s press time; however, a bus will not be available, as previously announced. Participants will car pool starting from Heritage’s parking lot, with an anticipated departure time of 9:30 a.m., returning approximately 4:30 p.m.

Registration is currently open to all Heritage families. The cost is currently $16 per adult, $10/student; however, this may change. Registration is limited to 24 persons. The tour’s registration fee includes admission fees to the two homes described below. Any donations will go toward the costs for the lunch, and credit card fees incurred during the registration process. The URL to register is: .

For the most current details, contact Rae Jane Araujo at

Photo: Red Oak Presbyterian Church,

First, we will start at the Red Oak Presbyterian Church, this chapel was built in 1817, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. This church is known for its architecture and its antislavery activities. From its inception in 1798, this congregation fought valiantly, risking lives, property and their own freedom, to free those who had been manacled by the injustices and crimes of slavery. They believed then, as now, in immediate social justice for all and their commitment to equality and inclusion has not wavered. 

Photo: Inside the Rankin House, source: Rae Jane Araujo

Then we will visit the Rankin House. The John Rankin House is a historic house museum

Built in 1825, the Rankin House was home to abolitionist and Presbyterian minister John Rankin, his wife Jean, and their 13 children. It’s estimated that over 2,000 freedom seekers stayed with the Rankins, sometimes as many as 12 at a time.

Though slavery was illegal in Ohio, enslaved people could still be apprehended due to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. In order to avoid danger, they had to leave the United States.

Pizza and beverages, at the Rankin House, will be provided to all who register.

Photo: The John Parker house, source:

We will then meet up at the John Parker House. The John P. Parker House is a historic house museum in Ripley, Ohio. It was home to former enslaved blacksmith and inventor John P. Parker from 1853 until his death in 1900. Parker was an abolitionist and a well-documented conductor on the Underground Railroad, helping hundreds of people who escaped enslavement.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact Rae Jane Araujo at: