After 30 years, Wilson House still celebrating sobriety

This article by Cherise Madigan originally appeared May 5 in the Manchester Journal.

EAST DORSET — Welcoming more than 10,000 guests to town each year, the Wilson House — now approaching its 30th anniversary — embodies the efforts of two men united by a common mission: to support those struggling with addiction on the road to recovery.

Wikimedia Commons/Doug Kerr

East Dorset is the birthplace of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and creator of the 12-step recovery program.

For many traveling that road, the name Bill Wilson is one of monumental significance. As the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous alongside fellow Vermonter Dr. Robert Smith, Wilson is credited with transforming an immeasurable number of lives through the 12-step program that is used across the world.

Today, thousands flock to the East Dorset landmark to honor Wilson’s memory and participate in seminars and meetings on recovery. More than 50 educational programs take place at the house annually, as well as events and programming for the larger Dorset comm-unity.

“The house was founded in its current formation as a nonprofit inn and seminar center, because it holds such a special — even spiritual — significance for those who are in the program,” said Director of Development Lindsey Harty. “Recovery touches most people’s lives, so I think that many find some sort of connection with the work that we do here.”

That work wouldn’t have been possible, however, if not for the efforts of Albert “Ozzie” Lepper, who serendipitously purchased the dilapidated property in the late 1980s and restored the house as a monument to Wilson.

“For the past 30 years the Wilson House has been a place for people in recovery, as well as their families, to visit, stay and enjoy seminars,” said board member Shawn Harrington, curator of the Manchester Historical Society. “Thousands of people flock to East Dorset from all over the world, which is really amazing.”

Read full article at the Manchester Journal.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Doug Kerr