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Historian, photographer
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Ripley and West Union, Ohio
Authored by Sherman Cahal on July 1, 2009 at UrbanUp

I have visited the communities of Ripley and West Union, Ohio en route to other locales, and decided to pay both a visit. I came away impressed by the architectural stock and vibrancy of Ripley, and their close association with their downtown and its extensive history, although I was disappointed with the quality of West Union. Very few buildings were in good condition and there was a perceived lack of development and upkeep in the community.

Click on the respective links in the headers for even more photographs and information and be sure to click through onto the UrbanUp blog for more photographs and text!

Located in Brown County, Ohio, Ripley is a village of 1,800 along the banks of the Ohio River, approximately 50 miles southeast of Cincinnati.

The first settlement at Ripley was by Colonel James Poage, who arrived in Ohio from Staunton, Virginia in 1804 to claim 1,000 acres. A veteran of the American Revolution, Poage was among a group of veterans who received land grants as a result of their military service. The town of Staunton was laid out in 1812, although it was renamed four years later in honor of General Eleazar Wheelock Ripley who was an American officer in the War of 1812 that had fatally wounded.

Ripley was known as an important stop along the Underground Railroad due to its proximity to the Ohio River, fueled in part by sympathetic citizens. A number of abolitionists lived in the town at the time, including John Rankin, John Parker, a former slave, and Dr. Alexander Campbell.

Today, Ripley is known for its 55-acre National Historic District, wonderfully maintained churches and residential districts and a blossoming downtown.

1 A classic diner lines a quiet street overlooking the Ohio River.

2 Beautiful churches dot Ripley's cityscape.



5 There are a few disused structures.

6 This is scheduled for demolition. The front walls are bulging outward.


8 Downtown. The further north one goes, the less vibrancy there is.


West Union, Ohio
Geographically isolated, West Union, Ohio is a village in Adams County with a population of nearly 3,000. It has served as the county seat since 1804, when it was relocated from Manchester.

Today, the community is a hub for agriculture and a growing number of Amish.


18 Not too bad.

19 Hometown shops line their streets.




Enjoy this set, and be sure to click through onto the UrbanUp blog for more photographs and text!
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