Underground railroad stop pushed for park system

This July 11, 2014 photo shows the Underground Railroad Living Museum Flight to Freedom Tour at First Congregational Church of Detroit. An annual conference of Underground Railroad scholars and enthusiasts is coming to Detroit. The event coordinated by the National Park Service will explore the roles women played as leaders along the secret network for runaway slaves. Detroit was the last stop on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. The conference starts Wednesday with a bus tour of Underground Railroad stops in the city. Conference participants will also re-enact the passage slaves followed and participate in workshops through Sunday. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Todd McInturf)

RIPLEY, Ohio (AP) — Some members of Congress want the southern Ohio home of a former slave who helped other slaves to freedom brought into the national park system.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty say they have introduced legislation requesting a study of the feasibility of the John P. Parker House and Underground Railroad stop becoming part of the park system.

The Ohio Democrats said in a statement that the former slave who operated a metal foundry in Ripley risked his life to help hundreds of other slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.

The president of the John P. Parker Historical Society says adding the National Historic Landmark into the park system would provide more national recognition of Parker’s life and contributions and hopefully increase area tourism.


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