South Avenue Landmark: Brooks Sanatorium, Reincarnated

South Avenue has undergone a conspicuous transformation these last 15 years. Once lined with mid-20th century Capes and Colonials, it’s now dominated by modern, custom-built homes. (Nothing wrong with that. It’s just … different.)

One holdover from the “old” South Avenue is a gorgeous three-story home at the corner of Brooks Road, with the columned wraparound porch and dormer windows looking out over a perfectly manicured front lawn. The home is not only a throwback to an earlier time, but also has a significant history in the annals of New Canaan itself.

In Search of New Canaan History: Stephen Weed’s Fort

New Canaan’s long and storied history has produced its fair share of characters and legends, some apocryphal, some true. One such legend and character is Stephen Weed and the story of his Revolutionary War-era fort. Weed was a Canaan Parish soldier in the American Revolution who helped defend New York against the British under the command of Captains John Carter and Daniel Benedict, historians say. According to 1951’s “Landmarks of New Canaan,” published by the New Canaan Historical Society, he was captured and ultimately imprisoned in the notorious Sugar House prison in New York City. Eventually Weed was released and returned home, though as a shell of his former self: His battlefield experience and subsequent imprisonment had caused postwar syndrome.

Dantown: The ‘Atlantis of New Canaan’

Drive slowly along the upper reaches of Ponus Ridge and you can glimpse the last vestiges of a once-thriving New Canaan community, most of which now exists deep beneath the Laurel Reservoir. Beyond the chain link fence surrounding the lake, myriad stone walls crisscross through the trees, some of which suddenly disappear into the water. This is all that remains of Dantown. For Bob Tilden of Montour Falls, N.Y., the search for Dantown began as a search for his ancestors. One of these ancestors, Francis Dan, arrived in what was then Stamford in the late 17th Century, eventually settling a community by the Rippowam River near the New York state border.