Dan Shope took some of his sociology students to southern Ohio’s Underground Railroad passages.
Assistant Professor Dan Shope, Ph.D., at Shawnee State University took some of his sociology students on the “Freedom Train” in his “Passport to Freedom” trip retracing southern Ohio’s Underground Railroad passages.
Shope provided a “Passport” to each student and stamped each entry that included the Rankin House in Ripley, the Underground Railroad in New Richmond, Ulysses S. Grant birthplace in Point Pleasant and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
“I was really impressed by the trip particularly the museum which was a lot bigger and more intricate than I expected with five large floors of attractions,” said student Bri'Ana Green, of Cleveland.
The Rankin House was being remodeled and the group was able to see the original brick used in the construction of the house. The Rankin family helped more than 2,000 slaves escape to freedom and the house is now a state memorial. The house sits on a hill overlooking the Ohio River.
“I wanted the students to see how close they are to this history,” Shope said. “The students were able to go up to the attic and see the initials of everyone who worked on the house carved into the rafters.”
Workers were also restoring an outside kitchen at the Rankin House. Students walked the original stone steps to the bottom on the long hill.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Rankin House,” said student Chasity Pinkstock, of Amanda, Ohio. “It was very neat, and I learned a lot about the family and their part in the Underground Railroad.”
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center was the last stop on the passport. The center pays tribute to all the efforts to “abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people.”