Dr. James T. Aris, owner of Advanced Dentistry of Wilton, recently relocated his Wilton Center dental office of 23 years to the historic Cannon House, an 1835 Greek Revival located at 436 Danbury Rd.. He and his wife, Pamela Aris, who oversaw the renovation and restoration of the building, hosted a ribbon cutting yesterday to celebrate both the official opening of the office and the renovation being a successful example of adaptive use in action.
Before the Arises purchased the building it was in danger of being demolished. An article about the threat of demolition in GOOD Morning Wilton brought the property to their attention, which led to their eventual ownership.
The Cannon House, also known as the Hiram and Mary Cannon Jones House, took eight months to transform into a state-of-the-art dental office. Key to the transformation were Wilton architect Rob Sanders who brought extensive knowledge in historic preservation to the project; award-winning contractor Wayne Fontaine, of Fontaine Construction in Bethel, who specializes in dental space construction; Patterson Dental; Integrity Systems & Solutions, a computer services company; and Eyvind Heggland, of CT Floor Supply in Wilton, who refurbished the antique hardwood floors.
“Our dream is to serve each and every patient with the finest dental care available, in an immaculate facility – with a team
approach. We feel very fortunate to be part of this vibrant community. We feel connected in so many ways and the
renovation of The Cannon House is just one more connection for us,” Aris said at the event. “We are honored to save such an important architectural structure–and part of Wilton’s history.”
Aris pointed out that in 1835, the year that the Cannon House was built, Andrew Jackson was President, Abraham Lincoln was 26 years old, the Civil War was 26 years away, and dentists sometimes also were barbers and surgeons as well. It wasn’t until 1840, as Mary Cannon Jones and her family settled into the spacious Greek revival, that the world’s first dental school was established in Baltimore, MD.
Two historic, influential Wilton families were key characters in the history of the house – the Cannons and the Millers. The Cannon family patriarch, John Cannon, had founded the Cannon Store at the start of the 1800s, believed to have been located where the DALE cannon is at intersection of Cannon and Danbury Roads. His son, George Cannon, took over the store and eventually left 3.75 acres (valued at $470.34) to his eldest daughter, Mary Cannon. She and her husband built the five-bedroom house at 436 Danbury Road circa 1835. In 1878, Mary left her estate to her brother, Charles Cannon, a prominent town leader who was involved in politics and responsible for much development in the Cannondale area–acquiring a US Post Office for Cannon Station and subcontracting the right to expand the Danbury/Norwalk Railroad through the Pimpawaug/Cannondale area. Charles’ daughter, Esther Cannon, inherited the house along with her husband, Samuel Miller, who became president of Gilbert & Bennett.
First selectman Lynne Vanderslice helped Aris cut the ribbon to officially open the office.”