By Martha B. Jacob –
Last week on Saturday, July 22, Brown County had heavy rains in a very short period of time which caused its share of damage, including erosion issues at the Rankin House in the Village of Ripley.
John Rankin is well known, not only in Ripley, but around the world as the reverend who was a staunch abolitionist who lived in Ripley. He is remembered as the man who wrote a series of letters explaining the evils of slavery. He owned Rankin House, built in 1825, which sits on top of a hill which overlooks Ripley and the Ohio River. A light situated in the window of his home served as a beacon to runaway slaves. It became a well known stop in the Underground Railroad.
Now a National Historic Landmark, the site is locally managed by Ripley Heritage, Inc. and is open May through October to visitors. But the rains damaged the lower steps going up the hill to the home site, and has been temporarily closed to the public until next May, 2018.