The National Historic Landmark, Stepping Stones, in Katonah, NY, is the historic home and archive of a man that Life and Time magazines listed among the top 100 influentials of the last century and his wife, whose laudable works are also noteworthy. Visitors from around the world tour the home and writing studio featuring an authentic environment with thousands of original artifacts that belonged to two of the greatest humanitarians of all time -- Bill Wilson, co-founder, Alcoholics Anonymous and writer of the 12 Steps of recovery, and Lois Wilson, cofounder of Al-Anon Family Groups. Bill and Lois moved into the Town of Bedford in 1941 and lived here until they passed in 1971 and 1988, respectively. Time referred to Bill as “The Healer”. Lois launched Al-Anon in 1951 from the second floor of their home, which rests on the border of Katonah and Bedford Hills. Thanks to Lois, Stepping Stones is listed along with homes of Susan B. Anthony and other famous women on the New York State Women's Heritage Trail. The 12 Step fellowships / programs they co-created continue to thrive throughout the world today. The Wilson’s "Stepping Stones," is operated by the non-profit, tax-exempt Stepping Stones Foundation founded by Lois in 1979. With the help of supporters and preservation experts, the Foundation preserves 10,000 historic objects, maintains six buildings and 8 acres of gardens and grounds, protects 100,000 archival items and educates the public about alcoholism and the Wilson’s legacy through tours and programs, which also inspire recovery.
Bill Wison may be Westchester’s writer with the farthest reach and deepest impact. More than 16 million English-language copies of the book “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” have circulated worldwide. Today more than 2 million people belong to AA and the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, which he also wrote, are a framework for recovery that hundreds more groups have adapted to conditions ranging to overeating to debt. The publication "Alcoholics Anonymous" (nicknamed the "A.A. Big Book") was edited and coordinated by Bill. Today it is in more than 70 languages with more translations pending. Over 40 million English-language copies of the book have circulated since its first printing in 1939.
Bill began to experience a problem with alcohol while serving in the U.S. Army. In 1934, he quit drinking for good. By June of 1935, he launched the AA program with Dr. Bob. Bill carried a message of recovery to Bob, which included finding a higher power of your own understanding and working with others.
Stepping Stones is listed on the NY and Federal Registries of Historic Places. To tour, volunteer, do community service for school, scouts, etc., or to learn more about call 914-232-4822, go to steppingstones.org or email to email@example.com