Berrodin Bed & Breakfast

Dr. Bob’s House in Akron, OH

As we turn the page to a new month, we welcome those visiting from around the world to celebrate and honor Founder’s Day on June 10th. The day marks the anniversary of the meeting between Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob in Akron, Ohio in 1935, the founding members of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). While there are many ways to commemorate the day, we highly recommend a visit to Dr. Bob’s House in Highland Square, Akron OH, to learn about the history of AA’s founders. It is a unique experience to connect with visitors on the same grounds that this revolutionary organization was rooted.

AA is a fellowship program that provides support and resources for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction. The organization was founded on the principles of anonymity, spirituality, and mutual support. It has helped millions of people worldwide to overcome addiction and maintain sobriety.

Founder’s Day, June 10, 2023

On Founder’s Day, members of the organization and the broader recovery community come together to honor the legacy of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. This may involve attending meetings, sharing personal stories, and reflecting on the impact that AA has had on their lives. By remembering the founders of AA and the principles of recovery that they established, the day serves as a reminder of the power of hope, faith, and community in overcoming addiction and achieving lasting sobriety. 

Dr. Bob’s House

Every year people travel from all across the world to Akron, OH, to visit Dr. Bob’s House. Here they can learn about the history of the AA organization and lean on the spirituality and strength of the people it has housed. Dr. Bob’s House is the nickname for the historic home of one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Robert Smith. The house is located in the Historic Highland Square of Akron, Ohio, just around the corner from the Berrodin Bed & Breakfast. Each year, we welcome visitors to Dr. Bob’s House with hospitality and fellowship. 

Dr. Bob’s House in Highland Square, Akron OH

Dr. Robert Smith, also known as “Dr. Bob,” was a physician in Akron who struggled with alcoholism himself. In 1935, he met Bill Wilson, also an alcoholic, and the two men began working together to help each other stay sober. They later founded Alcoholics Anonymous, a program that has helped millions of people around the world overcome alcohol addiction.

Dr. Bob’s House is where the doctor lived with his wife, Anne Ripley Smith from 1916 until their deaths, both around 1950. The house was a gathering place for early members of AA, who would come to talk and share their experiences with each other. The house was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1985. Today, 855 Ardmore is preserved as a museum that offers tours and educational programs about the history of AA and the role of Dr. Bob and his family in the organization’s founding.

Visiting Dr. Bob’s House

During a visit to Dr. Bob’s House, visitors can learn about the history of AA and the role of Dr. Bob and his family in its founding. Guided tours typically last around an hour and provide insights into the history of the building. Visitors can expect to see many of the original furnishings and artifacts from when Dr. Bob and his family lived in the home. Some of the highlights of a tour of Dr. Bob’s House might include:

  • Seeing the bedroom where Dr. Bob had his last drink, and learning about his struggles with alcoholism.
  • Visiting the dining room, where Dr. Bob and Bill Wilson held many of their early AA meetings.
  • Viewing a collection of original documents, photographs, and other artifacts related to the founding of AA.
  • Learning about the spiritual principles that are at the core of the AA program.
  • Hearing stories about the early members of AA and their experiences with addiction and recovery.

Your visit won’t be complete without perusing the gift shop located in the neighboring house. You’ll find cups & mugs, apparel, coins, and more! Most importantly, a visit to Dr. Bob’s House offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history of AA and to gain a deeper understanding of the struggles faced by people with alcohol addiction, as well as the hope and healing that can be found through the AA program.

Historical AA Sites in Akron, OH

While in Akron, there are a number of other AA Historic sites you’ll definitely want to visit. You can view the map provided by the Arkon Area Intergroup here:

  1. Akron Area Intergroup / A.A. Archives: Serves A.A. groups in Holmes, Medina, Portage, Summit and Wayne Counties.
  2. Sister Ignatia Exhibit / City Hospital: As part of the new Juve Family Behavioral Health Center the Sister Ignatia and early AA memorabilia that was once displayed at the former St. Thomas Hospital, where Dr. Bob worked. 
  3. Mayflower Hotel: Where Bill W. made his historic first telephone call. (please respect the resident’s privacy)
  4. Mt. Peace Cemetery: Dr. Bob & Anne’s gravesite is located in Section 21, Lot 65, Grave 7.
  5. King School (First Organized Meeting): Where the first group meeting was hosted after moving from Dr. Bob’s house. 
  6. Rev. Tunks’ Rectory: Rev. Tunks put Bill W. in touch with Henrietta Seiberling after receiving his call at this rectory. (please respect the resident’s privacy)
  7. T. Henry & Clarace William’s Home: The “Drunk Squad” of the Oxford Group met here before moving to Dr. Bob’s home. (please respect the resident’s privacy)
  8. Seiberling Gatehouse (Stan Hywet Estate): Henrietta Seiberling’s home where Dr. Bob & Bill W. first met. Open to the public April through December, Tuesday – Sunday. Check the website for full hours.
  9. Portage Country Club: Where Bill W. stayed for two weeks before moving in with Dr. Bob & Anne.
  10. Dr. Bob’s Home: Open to the public Noon to 3:00 PM every day but Christmas. (Special hours Founders’ Day weekend).
  11. Dr. Bob’s Office: The office where Dr. Bob worked is now the Key Bank Building
  12. Greenlawn Cemetery: Bill D., AA #3 is buried in Section F, Lot 517, Grave 3. 

Whether you’re coming from near or far, know you have a friend nearby at the Berrodin Bed & Breakfast, and we hope you’ll stop by to say hi. 

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