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Historic Sites

If you are new to the program, or visiting the area for the first time, there is a rich AA history waiting for you to discover at the many local Historic Sites.

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Voices from the Past

The Akron AA Archives has been blessed with stewardship of a substantial, rare collection of recorded speaker “leads” dating back to the early days of our fellowship. Currently there are over 400 of these talks representing a treasure of early AA history, many in their original form on cassettes or reel-to-reel tape. These have been “passed on” to us by members and treated with loving care. However without appropriate preservation, these links to the past were in danger of being lost forever. Modern technology has provided a solution. What's more, we can now make these memories come alive for all AA members!

We have the capacity to digitize these rare recordings and to preserve them as high quality “uncompressed WAV files”. Our goal is to make these amazing and inspiring recorvery resources available to the worldwide fellowship of AA.

Our starting point on this project is to provide the talks of early and influencial members who are featured in the 1980 "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers" (an Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. publication). You will be able to listen to them on-line or download as .mp3 files, along with an index showing where these speakers are featured in the text. Transcripts will be made available as time allows.

"Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers" is a biography of our co-founder Dr. Bob S. with recollections of early AA members in the Midwest. Below you will find links to listen on-line or download the actual voices of many of the “first one hundred” members of our fellowship…ENJOY!!

The Good Oldtimers:

  • Archie T. “The Man Who Mastered Fear”
    Sobriety Date: September 3, 1938

    Archie came to Akron in September of 1938 and stayed for 10½ months with Dr. Bob and Anne Smith before returning to take A.A. back to Michigan. He appears in “Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers” on pages 115-116, 182.


    A transcript of this talk is available along with a Bio and “The Fearful One” as it appeared in the 1st edition:
    Read Transcript | Download
    Bio | Story
  • Norman Y.
    Sobriety Date: January 28, 1939

    Norman had lost his wife and family, his job and his sight to bootleg liquor when Jack D. took the A.A. message to him in Youngstown. In 1940 he had the Big Book transcribed in braille and sent out to other blind A.A. members. He appears in “Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers” on pages 183-184, 221, 223, 249-250, 263.

  • Danny K.
    Sobriety Date: During WWII

    A minister's son from Barberton, Ohio and physically handicapped from childhood, Dan describes his journey on the “road to hell”. He came to St. Thomas Hospital under the care of Dr. Bob and Sister Ignatia during WWII. He appears in “Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers” on pages 192, 224-225, 233, 275, 281-282, 296.

  • Ann C.
    Sobriety Date: April 1, 1948

    The daughter of a lay minister, teetotaling Ann was living in Akron, teaching Sunday School and working as a waitress at the lunch counter of the 2nd National Bank Building. She watched the doctor with a perpetual hangover and wonder why he didn't “just quit drinking”. She saw him again years later at the podium of the King School group, not knowing he was “the” Dr. Bob, co-founder of the program that saved her life. She appears in “Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers” on pages 34, 245, 333, 342.

  • Bruce M.
    Sobriety Date: October 1945

    A graduate of both Duke and Yale law schools, by early 1945 Bruce found himself about to lose his wife, his children and his job. Two members of a Canton AA group answered his desperate call for help in October of that year. His achievements, awards, and citations over the next 40 “sober” years are testament to the power of unity, service, and recovery in AA. He was recently remembered as #129 in a November 21, 2005 Canton Repository story called “200 HELPED SHAPE CANTON.”
    He appears in “Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers” on pages 276-277.

    Gratitude Sunday - 1963 Download

    Founder's Day - 1965 Download
  • Ed B.
    Sobriety Date: August 8, 1944

    Ed's service to the Akron area spanned nearly three decades. He is perhaps best remembered as editor of the Akron Intergroup News.
    He appears in “Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers” on pages 148, 150, 224, 228-230, 271, 274-275, 325-326.

    Midlake Anniversary - 06/03/78 Download
  • Bill D.
    Sobriety Date: June 26, 1935

    Alcoholics Anonymous No. 3. His story is found on page 182 in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions of our Big Book. "He kept the faith." Bill W.

  • Clarence S.
    Sobriety Date: February 1938

    ”The Home Brewmeister“. His story his is found on page 274 in the 1st edition, 297 in the 2nd and 3rd edition. Started AA in Cleveland.

  • Rollie H.
    Sobriety Date: April 1939

    Cleveland Indian Catcher. Publicity from his sobriety influenced Bill in the writing of the 11th Tradition.

  • Henrietta Seiberling.

    Akron Oxford group member who arranged the first meeting between founders Bill W. and Bob S. at the Stan Hywet Gatehouse.

  • Sister Ignatia.

    A.A.’s Angel of Mercy. Worked with Dr Bob S. at Akron St. Thomas Hospital (now Summa Healthcare). Together they worked with over 5,000 of A.A.’s earliest recoveries.

  • Dr. Bob's Message to Bill & Lois

    A wire recording of Bob and Anne (the Mother of AA )

  • Ethel M.
    Sobriety Date: 1941

    First women in A.A. with continuous sobriety. Her story appears in the 2nd and 3rd Edition, page 261, ”From Farm to City“.

  • Madeline V.

    One of the early Akron women. With Sister Ignatia, she started the St. Thomas Panel meeting in 1949. See pages 283-285 in Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers.