Address: 6152 Rankin Road
Ripley, OH 45167
(turn up the hill at 500 N. Second Street)
Not a free site
The Rankin House is a unique piece of Ohio and American History. The house is a national historic landmark and a stop on the historic Underground Railroad. When one visits the house one can see why it would be a stop on the Underground Railroad. The house is built on a hill almost 650 feet above the Ohio River. Standing on the hill one can see the city below and the surrounding countryside. John Rankin would have been able to see anyone coming close to his house and also if it was safe to cross the river. The house was lived in by John Rankin a minister who was active in the abolitionist movement. John lived in the house with his family. Standing outside the house and looking at the great views of the Ohio River one can picture slaves running for freedom and stopping in the house for shelter than continuing on their journey across the Ohio River. If you want great views of the Ohio River, then you must visit the hill the house sits on.
When we visited the house it was undergoing a major restoration to return the house to its 1830s appearance. The first floor of the house was open and also the tour guide talked about the restoration being done. The house of course then is accessed by tour, which is nice. The tour guide will explain the store behind Rankin and his family. The tour guides are very knowledgeable about the Rankin family and the house. It is well worth the money to take a tour. The house is not complete to the way it was when Rankin lived in the house. The barns and outbuilding are not there, and possibly part of the house. Just doing a search on the internet for pictures shows more to the building. Maybe this is because it is being restored. This really matters little as the story and the history are the important part.
Be prepared to walk to the house and then if you want to walk more you can walk down 100 steps behind the house down the hill. Walking these steps really help with experience the history of the house.
The Rankin House is a must stop in your learning of American History or Ohio History or Human History, do not miss it.