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Ripley in Brown County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Ripley / The John P. Parker House

 
 
The Ripley side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
1. The Ripley side of the marker
Inscription.  Ripley was incorporated as the village of Staunton in 1812. Its name was changed in 1816 to honor General Eleazer Wheelock Ripley, a hero of the War of 1812. In the years before railroads. Ripley was principal Ohio River shipping center. Also important were its extensive boat-building, tobacco, pork, and timber industries. Ripley too was the home of saw and planing mills. iron foundries, and a piano factory. Such varied commerce enabled Ripley to remain vibrant throughout the nineteenth century.

Although noted as a port, Ripley is best remembered as an abolitionist stronghold. Many of its citizens, including Rev. John Rankin and John P. Parker, served as conductors on the famed “Underground Railroad.” The notoriety of Ripley’s anti-slavery network perhaps eclipsed that of nearby Cincinnati, earning the town a reputation as the “Black Hole of Abolitionism.”

This is the restored home of John P. Parker, a noted African-American entrepreneur, inventor, and abolitionist. Born into slavery in Virginia in 1827, Parker purchased his freedom as a young man in Alabama. Parker later settled in
The John P. Parker House side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
2. The John P. Parker House side of Marker
Ripley, where he became a self-trained iron manufacturer, established the Phoenix Foundry, and invented the Parker Portable Screw Press (for tobacco) and a soil pulverizer. Parker was one of the few African-Americans to obtain a U.S. Patent before 1900.

During the Antebellum years, Parker became an important, if unheralded, conductor on the Underground Railroad, risking his life to aid more than nine hundred fugitive slaves in their journey to freedom. Parker also recruited soldiers for the Fifth United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. The story of Parker’s efforts to guide escaped slaves across the Ohio River is told in his autobiography, entitled His Promised Land. The Parker House received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1997.
 
Erected 2001 by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission, the Longaberger Company, John P. Parker Historical Society and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 4-8.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
 
Location. 38° 44.998′ N, 83° 50.975′ W. Marker is in Ripley, Ohio, in Brown County. Marker is on North Front Street south of Sycamore Street, on the right when traveling south
The John P. Parker House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
3. The John P. Parker House and Marker
. It is at the John Parker House. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 N Front St, Ripley OH 45167, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John P. Parker’s Early Life (within shouting distance of this marker); The John P. Parker Family (within shouting distance of this marker); John Parker’s Path (within shouting distance of this marker); John P. Parker (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named John P. Parker (within shouting distance of this marker); John P. Parker Memorial Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Residence of General Granville Moody (about 400 feet away); Rear Admiral Joseph Fyffe (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ripley.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia entry for the John P. Parker House. “The house is all that is left of a larger manufacturing complex built about 1853 for the business of John Parker, which originally included a machine shop, blacksmithy, and foundry. Most of these facilities were damaged or destroyed by a fire in 1889, and were not rebuilt by Parker. Ripley was a hotbed of abolitionist sentiment in the antebellum period, and it was thus a well-known target for slaves escaping across the river from Kentucky, a slave state. Although Parker's property was close
The John P. Parker House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
4. The John P. Parker House and Marker
to the river, he apparently rarely sheltered slaves in his home, its remote location equally attractive to fugitive slaves and slave catchers. Parker was born into slavery, but was given an education by his physician owner, and was able to purchase his freedom. He regularly crossed into Kentucky in search of escaping slaves, and brought them into the network of Underground Railroad supporters in Ripley.” (Submitted on June 18, 2019.) 
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansIndustry & CommerceWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
Ripley / The John P. Parker House Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 11, 2019
5. Ripley / The John P. Parker House Marker
The John P. Parker Memorial Park is just beyond the marker, between the house and downtown Ripley. It was the site of Mr. Parker’s factory.
 

More. Search the internet for Ripley / The John P. Parker House.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 18, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 18, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 18, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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