A New York State historic marker grabs your attention as you enter Stepping Stones, rightly designated a State and National Historic Place. Standing just at the edge of the lovely gardens, the marker reads: "Here is the home of Bill and Lois Wilson. 'Bill W.' was co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous - 1935. 'Lois W.' co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups - 1951."
Just ahead is the Dutch Colonial Revival home that Bill and Lois Wilson lived in from 1941 until their deaths in 1971 and 1988, respectively.
The garden and its surroundings reflect the spirit of the Wilsons with a varied combination of plantings, including antique roses, peach and apple trees, and more. Bushes and trees grace the hillside.
Up the hill is the cinder block studio called Wit's End, built by Bill with the help of a mason friend. Inside, knotty pine walls frame his desk, a day bed and a few dozen mementos. This was the creative work space of A.A.'s primary writer.
Stepping Stones demonstrates the story of hope for the recovery from alcoholism, in both the individual and the family. The Wilsons' home - comfortable, peaceful, integrated with nature - emerges from past pain and difficulty to show that there is hope for a life beyond alcoholism. Today, Stepping Stones remains open to visitors who might also benefit from experiencing the story of hope, seen through the eyes of two of the recovery movement's most legendary figures.
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