A journey to Stepping Stones is special. Some travel from thousands of miles to see where Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), and Lois, cofounder of Al-Anon Family Groups (A.F.G.) lived, worked, and greeted visitors and friends.
In their lovingly-preserved 1920 Dutch Colonial Revival home, you can have your photograph taken by the kitchen table where thousands of people have. There you may recall Bill’s account of his then-newly-sober friend Ebby T. joining him at that very table in Brooklyn to share a message of recovery.
Upstairs you will picture Lois working at her desk, sowing the seeds of Al-Anon Family Groups. Contemplate the time she spent in the mid-1900s arranging historic photographs and material in the “Gallery,” where you can browse the memorabilia and her notes about many items. Think about the origins of the collection’s nearly 10,000 authentic items, including many gifts.
Then walk up the hill to Bill’s writing studio, “Wit’s End.” See his large oak desk and consider his thoughtful deliberation in writing over 100 A.A. Grapevine magazine articles, including those that evolved into the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book. Imagine the fireplace alight as Bill responded to letters from around the world and drafted speeches to be given in front of audiences at A.A. International Conventions, the U.S. Senate, and medical society meetings. See the cigarette burn marks along the edges of his desk. View the bed with the Southwestern blanket that Lois fashioned into a bedspread and wonder if Bill rested there during bouts of depression or writer’s block. Imagine the visits with friends who gave him the wall hangings featuring the Serenity Prayer in various languages. See his spiritual advisor Father Ed Dowling’s cane and crucifix. These are just a few of the timeless artifacts in the cinderblock retreat that Bill built with a friend from A.A.
Wander the gardens and grounds just like Bill and Lois did. Read the historic markers and dive into the display of archive highlights in the Welcome Center. Enjoy a cup of coffee and browse the gift shop before and after your tour.
See the Events page for online, off-site, and on-site events, including the Annual Picnic.