Monday, July 4, 2011


Happy 4th to those of you in the States! I hope you're enjoying the long weekend and celebrating Independence Day with friends and family.

I've been thinking a lot about freedom lately. Last week we took the kids on a little day trip in the area, and it ended up being an impromptu tour of the Underground Railroad, focusing on the Ripkin House in Ripley, Ohio.

The house was built by Rev. John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister and Abolitionist, and was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Sitting on the top of a huge hill overlooking the Ohio River, Rankin was able to signal with a fire-lit lamp when it was safe for the Freedom Seekers...

to trek across the river from the slave-state of Kentucky.

Most likely in the dark of night, Freedom Seekers made their way up these stairs and hid in the Rankin house until it was safe to travel on.

Some may have hid upstairs in the attic.

And some may have hid in the cellar below the house.

It's believed that Rankin and his family helped over 2000 Freedom Seekers at the house between the years 1825-1865, providing them with food and shelter as they made their way along the Underground Railroad.

Thank you to everyone who has played a role in the our nations's freedom, both in the past and to those who continue to ensure our freedom today.
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