The Conductor: Promo of New Film

Take a look at this wonderful dramatic promo for a new documentary film project on John P Parker. The film will present Parker’s life in his own words based on his autobiography “His Promised Land”.

Peter Huston and William Turpie are producers. This film project is a cooperative venture between FilmAffects, MediaDesign Newssource, WGTE PBS Toledo,
and the John P Parker Historical Society.You can find more about the film at the website:

View the Promo:
The Conductor: Promo


Ripley and John Parker Featured: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: MAPPING HISTORY App from PBS Now Available

For those of you watching the “Abolitionists”, there is a wonderful new app featuring Ripley and John Parker. Read portions of the press release below:


Exclusively on the App Store

BOSTON, MA  — American Experience: Mapping History, a free app from PBS that allows users to explore events, characters and locations connected to the anti-slavery movement on their iPhone or iPod touch, is now available on the App Store. The app engages communities around their local history, expanding upon the stories told in the three-part television series The Abolitionists, and connecting them to real geographic locations. It brings events from the past to life and integrates them into present-day American cities. The Abolitionists premieres on Tuesdays, January 8, 15 and 22, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS.


Developed with innovative technology from public media history platform HistoryPin, the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: MAPPING HISTORY App allows users to relive the history of the abolitionist movement by exploring places central to the nation’s anti-slavery efforts. Users can retrace the steps taken by 10,000 freed slaves as they celebrated in Charleston, S.C. shortly after Robert E. Lee’s surrender. In Nantucket, watch a video clip from The Abolitionists in which Frederick Douglass (Richard Brooks) tells William Lloyd Garrison (Neal Huff) the moving story of his childhood spent in slavery. In Philadelphia, layer an image of Pennsylvania Hall engulfed in flames over the structure that stands there today, and see how it has transformed over time.

Key features of the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: MAPPING HISTORY App include curated walking tours of Boston, Charleston, Cincinnati and Philadelphia, where users can find the most significant locations, read about their histories, and superimpose archival images over the street views of those same locations today. Over 30 video clips from The Abolitionists are available in locations ranging from Maine to Kansas.

The AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: MAPPING HISTORY App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at

American Experience has worked with hundreds of museums, libraries, archives and public television stations to populate the map with geo-tagged historical photos and documents. The public is invited to upload their own content via the website with the goal of creating a map that reflects the shared history of the movement and its indelible mark on local communities and the nation.


Abolitionists on PBS: January 8, 2012

The Abolitionists will air this week on PBS. Ripley, and  John Parker are featured on a map on the companion website here:


Browse Historic Ripley Online

A new map of Historic Ripley has been published! The map highlights many or Ripley’s historic buildings, and includes historical information as well as photos,  which you can view just with a click. Also works great on mobile devices, so learn about our town as you drive through! .


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
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