Visitor center opens at Ohio underground railroad house

 

RIPLEY, Ohio (AP) — A visitor center is set to open at a house that served as one of Ohio's most active Underground Railroad sites used by slaves fleeing the south.

The new center at the John Rankin House concludes a multi-year renovation of the interior and exterior of the house in Ripley, about 53 miles (85 kilometers) southeast of Cincinnati.

The visitor center includes new exhibit galleries, a gift shop, updated restrooms and a picnic facility with a view of the house and the Ohio River.

A dedication was scheduled for Sunday.

The 1828 building was home to John Rankin, an abolitionist and Presbyterian minister, his wife Jean and their 13 children.

It's been estimated that more than 2,000 slaves stayed at the home, sometimes as many as 12 at a time.