An estimated 100,000 slaves sought freedom in the 1800s through a network of supporters and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad, according to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
Outpost dot southern Ohio operated by folks like the Rankins.
Clermont County alone has 33 abolitionist or Underground Railroad sites.
The “Conductors” — whites, freed blacks, fellow slaves and Native Americans — guided them to freedom from oppression.
Some of the slaves who made it to Ohio after arduous journeys from Kentucky, Tennessee and other slave states went on to Canada.
Many settled in Dayton, Springfield and other parts of Ohio.
Springboro, for example, is thought to have more Underground Railroad depots in and around the city than anywhere else in the state. The Springboro Area Historical Society has documented 27. Remnants of hiding places and tunnels still exist in private houses and businesses there.
The city says more than 4,000 people were helped to freedom there during a 50-year period.