New Canaan Now & Then: Brooks Sanatorium


299 South Ave.

‘New Canaan Now & Then’ is sponsored by Brown Harris Stevens Realtors Joanne Santulli, Karen Ceraso, Bettina Hegel and Schuyler Morris.

The house at the corner of Brooks Road and South Avenue was built in 1898 by Mrs. Thomas W. Hall, who owned the property now known as Waveny Park. 

Mrs. Hall purchased the 11-acre tract of land and built the 11-bedroom, eight-bath house for her nephew, Dr. Charles C. Osborne. Dr. Osborne hoped to establish “a place of rest and recuperation in a healthful climate.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Osborne’s business skills were lacking and he ran up many debts in a short amount of time. A New Canaan Advertiser article dated April 4, 1898 reports that there were rumors of drug use which prompted his hasty departure for Europe in August 1899. Mrs. Hall, who had a mortgage on the property in the amount of $6500 with the New Canaan Savings Bank, sold the property a year later to Dr. Myron B. Brooks and his wife, Marion. Brooks was a skilled promoter of his business and advertised treatments such as “Aerotherapy, leige and dauerluftkur, hydrotherapy, suralimentation and inhalation therapy” (this information was also submitted to the “classified sanitarium directory of the eastern United States”). In April 1917, Dr. Brooks was appointed New Canaan Health officer and then the medical examiner for the town. 

Dr. Brooks’ Sanatorium operated as a tuberculosis sanatorium. Before the development of effective drugs, treatment in sanatoriums typically revolved around a strict regimen of rest and as much fresh air as possible. This meant that patients were in bed for most of the day, so when it was time for some fresh air patients would be wheeled in their beds onto covered porches like the one pictured above. This would be done year round; in winter, patients would be fully dressed in their winter best and be under several blankets. Since there was such a focus on fresh air and quiet rest, sanatoriums were established in rural areas. New Canaan at the turn of the century with its access to New York City and train line was an easy choice. 

After the closure of the sanatorium in 1929, Dr. Brooks and his family continued to use the residence as his office and their family home. In 1937, the property was purchased by local developer George McKendry, who developed Brooks Road and several houses that were part of the original tract. The house itself became the Butterball Inn in 1937 and then in 1941 became The Three Hundred Inn (300 South Avenue was the official address at that time). Five years later it became the Carlton Manor Inn owned and operated by Mrs. George Carlton. Maurice P. Roche assisted in the operation and eventually took ownership of the inn. When Roche died in 1955 the house was listed for sale. 

It was purchased by the Squitieris family in 1956 and remained their family home until 2000. Since then, the old Dr. Brooks’ Sanatorium has welcomed three new owners.

3 thoughts on “New Canaan Now & Then: Brooks Sanatorium

  1. Fun History, Thanks. What happened to the third floor. The early photo shows a tall gambrel roof and the recent photo a shallower gable roof with smaller gables.

  2. I think there is a typo in your second paragraph. The date of the Advertiser article is listed as august 4, 1998 but I believe it should be august 4, 1898. Love reading these little bits of new canaan history!

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