Get a glimpse into the beginnings of Cleveland AA by visiting one or all five locations listed below by taking the self-guided tour using this map.
Don't forget, you can always learn more about Cleveland AA by visiting the AA Archives. Also, be sure to visit the nearby Akron historic AA sites as well.
In 1937, Rockefeller, Jr. placed $5,000 into the treasury of the Riverside Church to assist Dr. Bob and Bill during AA's early beginnings.
Later, in 1940, Rockefeller also hosted a dinner to help "get the word out on the world wires;" inquiries poured in and many people went to the bookstores to get the book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
The resting place for Senior and several other family members is located in Lake View Cemetery, one of the largest and most beautiful garden cemeteries in the United States.
Lake View Cemetery
12316 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
From the Mayfield Road entrance, turn left following the signs toward Wake Chapel. While traveling down a small hill you'll see a stone stairway on the right leading to a tall obelisk - STOP. That's the John D. Rockefeller grave site.
Section 10, Lot 49, Grave 38920
Without his family's and associate's help AA would almost certainly have died in its infancy.
Clarence S. claimed this is the first group to call itself an AA group rather than a sect of the Oxford Group. Others disagree.
Established November 16, 1939, Cleveland's oldest extant group.
› Learn more about the Borton Group.
Clarence started the Cleveland meeting, in part because some Roman Catholic priests in Cleveland were refusing to let Catholics attend the Oxford Group meeting in Akron.
Some say this was the first group to use the name Alcoholics Anonymous. Nell Wing, Bill W.’s long-time secretary, said that Bill had been using the name since 1938 in letters and a pamphlet, but on this slender basis, Clarence forever claimed to have founded A.A.
Abby’s sobriety date was April 1939 and Clarence S. was his sponsor.
Abby was a patent lawyer. Bill W. gave him credit for starting the principle of rotation of jobs in A.A. He had also been chairman of the central committee in Cleveland (the first in the nation).
Ruth typed the dictations and hand-written pages Bill gave to her which later formed the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Hank P. (AA #2) fell in love with Ruth and wanted to marry her. Complicated by his existing marriage, Ruth rejected him, married Philip C. in 1942 and moved to this home in Shaker Heights for a few years before settling in Marietta, Ohio.