Construction is starting soon…

on the long awaited Parker Memorial Park, next to the Parker House!! Stop by in the next few weeks to see the work!


Join us at the Parker House for the Ohio Historical Society Civil War 150 Traveling Exhibit : July 16-August 9, 2012

Sponsored by he Ohio Historical Society in partnership with the Ohio Humanities Council, American Electric Power, and the National Endowment for the Humanities:

This stunning new exhibit focuses on people and places around Ohio that were of significance during the Civil War, how each impacted the war effort, and how the war impacted Ohio and its people. Subjects include:

  • The Fighting McCooks
  • Buckeye Furnace
  • Benjamin Hanby
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Zoar and Zoarites
  • John Rankin
  • Jay Cooke
  • Quakers
  • Freed Slaves
  • Civil War Veterans

Read more about it here


Ripley Bicentennial Celebration- Summer 2012!

Ripley will be celebrating it’s Bicentennial this August! Many great events are scheduled throughout the summer in celebration. Here’s a schedule- check back for updates!



  • April 28-  Program: I Remember Ripley, by Greg and Lisa Haitz, 2 pm, Ripley Library, free!


  • May 25 and 26– Ripley Alumni Weekend with a Bicentennial Theme, sponsored by RULH Alumni Association.
    • On Friday there will be encore performances of the two Bicentennial Programs by Greg and Lisa Haitz: The 1937 Flood and I Remember Ripley.
    • Saturday evening is the annual Alumni dinner at the Elementary School.
  • May 28- Memorial Day Parade and Program with a Bicentennial Theme, parade begins at Liberty Monument at 1:30 followed by the program at Maplewood Cemetery at 2:00. Thomas Zachman is the featured speaker.


  • June 10- Bicentennial House Tour, sponsored by Ripley Heritage as a fund raiser.


  • July:  Bicentennial Celebration Sports Weekend: times and places TBA. Sponsored by the Bicentennial Committee with chairmen Tim Wilson and Daniel Dragoo
    • Activities include: Golf Scramble, Walk/Run, Corn Hole Tournament, 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament and Old fashioned Children’s games.
  • Sunday will feature an old time baseball Game with the OHS Muffins Vs. Ripley All-Stars!


  • Official Bicentennial Celebration begins Thursday, August 2 and ends Sunday, August 5!
    • Thursday-
      •  Miss Ripley Bicentennial Pagaent: Ripley Elementary, Times TBA
    • Friday
      • Opening Program: Centenary United Methodist Church, 7 pm
      • Featuring Bicentennial choir, descendants of James Poague, Mayor  Syaunton, VA
      • Keynote speaker is Thomas Zachman
      • Refreshments
    • Saturday
      • Quilt Show: Centenary Methodist Church, 10-5 (quilt drop-off at 9 am)
      • Pet Show for kids: Cherry Street, 10 am :Small entry fee
      • Historical Scavenger Hunt for kids: Sponsored by the Home health Division of Ohio Valley Manor
      • Baby Show: Details TBA
      • Car Show: Front Street, 8-10 registration, 10-1 show
      • Parade!  2 pm
      • Street Dance: Details TBA



  • Closing Ceremonies: Liberty Monument 2 pm-Featuring the opening of the 1812 time capsule and the placing of a 2012 time capsule!
 and the Enquirer feature John Parker

On April 11, the Cincinnati Enquirer featured an article entitled “Local Players in the Civil War”. The article mentions John Parker, saying:

John Parker

A former slave who purchased his own freedom, Parker lived in Indiana and Cincinnati before moving to Ripley in Brown County, where he helped hundreds of slaves find freedom as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. During the Civil War, he was an active recruiter for all-black regiments in the Union Army.

The article also features Ripley’s John Rankin. You can read it here:


Anthony Gibbs Portraying John P Parker

Several members of the John P. Parker Historical Society recently visited the Ohio Historical Society, where we attended a  performance by Anthony Gibbs. Mr. Gibbs portrayed John Parker. His performance was wonderful: dynamic and inspiring.  And what’s more: his portrayal was historically accurate! Something we very much appreciated!

Anthony used excerpts from John Parker’s Autobiography. There were several questions from the audience about John Parker from those wanting to know more about this extraordinary man.

Anthony can do this portrayal for schools and other groups- we highly recommend it!

More about this program:

The Promised Land: John Parker and the Underground Railroad (Grade levels K – 12)

Travel back in time and experience the important abolitionist movement and struggle for freedom within the Underground Railroad. Meet John Parker, ex-slave, inventor, entrepreneur, and conductor on the Underground Railroad.  Learn all about the songs, signs, and dangers of escaping the “wretched” institution of slavery.  John Parker will have audiences on the edge of their seats as he recalls his experiences helping hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children cross the Ohio River into a new life of freedom.

  • Duration: 45 – 60 min.

To read more about Anthony , and his other portrayals such as Civil War Soldiers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and some programs for smaller children, please visit his website: or

the Greater Columbus Arts Council at . The second link includes information on programs available, prices, etc…



John P Parker Historical Society: Annual Meeting Photos

The John P Parker Historical Society held their annual meeting on March 21, 2010. More information to follow, but a great time was had by all.
Click any image below for photos of the event


Rise for Freedom: About the Opera

An interesting video from YouTube, where the “writer and composer share their involvement with creating one of Cincinnat opera’s most exciting peformances”- “Rise For Freedom” the John P. Parker Story. You can read more about the Opera at the Cincinnati Opera’s website.


Slideshow Tour of the House and more…


Parker Annual Meeting March 21st- Meet Brian Shellum

Brian Shellum BookThe John P. Parker Historical Society will hold their annual meeting at 1:30pm, March 21st.

Business will be conducted, and then our speaker will be featured at 2:00pm

This years speaker is Brian Shellum, author of two books on Charles Young- the most recent is :

Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment

The book is:

“Brian Shellum traces the development, experiences, and extraordinary accomplishments of a pioneering black officer who broke through one racial barrier after another in the decades straddling the turn of the twentieth century. The author follows Charles Young on his far-flung adventures with the Buffalo Soldiers on the Great Plains and in Sequoia National Park, leading his troopers in combat in the Philippines and Mexico, and his service in Haiti and Liberia as the first African American military attaché. Shellum places in the context of his times a leader who came to epitomize African American manhood. In so doing the author reveals a true hero to his country and his race.”—Floyd Thomas, curator at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center

You can read more about Brian Shellum at:


Documentary about John P Parker ?

Documentary film maker Peter Huston in the process of bringing John Parker’s life to film. Documentary film maker Peter Huston in the process of bringing John Parker’s life to film.

Visit his website for a preview of the documentary:
This dramatic documentary film project will present Parker’s life in his own words based on his autobiography “His Promised Land”.”