The Ohio River is a vitally important landmark for northern Kentucky and southern Ohio. It was also the dividing line between free and slave holding states. Most people are familiar with the story of escaped slaves traveling freedom, smuggled from friendly home to friendly home. For anyone remotely interested in US history, the area offers great places sites to learn about the Underground Railroad.
Traveling the Underground Railroad
If you’d like to experience the Underground Railroad, you’ll find road guides, museums, and historical markers to guide you. One of the more unique trips is by bicycle, or foot, along the Underground Railroad Trail. This 2006-mile trail begins in Mobile, Alabama and ends in Owen Sound, Ontario.
Beginning in Maysville
Since my area is northern Kentucky and southern Ohio, I’ll focus on that. Begin your tour in Maysville, Kentucky at the National Underground Railroad Museum. This museum is housed in the Bierbower House. This home was one of the stops on the Underground Railroad. It now offers an in-depth look into slavery, the Underground Railroad, and the Bierbower family.
Maysville to Ripley
Ripley is home to a fifty-five acre National Historic District. Two homes are maintained as museums and monuments to the Underground Railroad. Once, home, the Parker House, belonged to John P. Parker. He was a former slave who had purchased his freedom. He was an active conductor on the railroad, leading freedom seekers to the Rankin House. Rev. John Rankin shelter hundreds of escapees in their home. Historians estimate that most of the 2,000 escaped slaves who passed though Ripley stayed with the Rankins.
Ripley To Cincinnati
Take the sixteen-mile spur to Cincinnati to visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. The Freedom Center is a comprehensive look at the history of the railroad and African-Americans. Art exhibits, lectures, music and more make the visit memorable.
Ripley to Xenia
As you travel north, you’ll pick up the Little Miami Scenic Trail. It’s about fifty-five miles to Xenia and is a superb place to hike or bike. For more information on this section of trail, check out this link.
Ripley to Springboro
Founded by Quakers, Springboro was a major stop. Take a spur from Waynesboro and visit downtown Springboro. Its home to more documented safe houses than any other Ohio community. You can even spend the night in one and check out the hiding space.
Ripley to Wilberforce
In Wilberforce, you’ll discover the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center. The center focuses on black history and culture. Check out the Music as a Metaphor video, following the evolution of music from slave roots to the 1950s.
I am originally from Sharonville, Oh (a suburb of Cincinnati) and I know the Cincinnati/northern Kentucky area. As an active resident, I can help you find just the right area, town, and property for you. I’ll help you sell your Greater Cincy property, as well. If you are interested in real estate for sale in around Cincinnati, Ohio or northern Kentucky, please contact Cincinnati Rock-n-Roll Realtor® Gary Rossignol at (513) 777-2402 or search for a home now.