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The Enclave of Cannon Crossing, CT

Ann-068-350x262-300x224Cannondale, Connecticut. It’s a tiny, tiny section of Wilton, Connecticut in Fairfield County. Within that tiny section of Cannondale is an itty bitty place known as Cannon Crossing. Think of it as a town the size of a dollhouse and just as cute. I stumbled onto this treasure of a place after doing a story on the Ridgefield Playhouse in nearby Ridgefield, Connecticut. I was thinking to myself, where am I?

Cannondale is a Metro North train stop on the Danbury line.  It’s one sweet little street dotted with a few small boutiques and a great eatery in an old schoolhouse, called appropriately, Schoolhouse Restaurant. This little area even has it’s own gas pumps.

Turns out this junction is quite famous. It was once owned by burlesque entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee’s younger sister, June Havoc.  I found that out by talking to a woman minding Annabel Green, a boutique filled with flowers and finery. We went next door to a shop that has everything English called Penny Ha’Penny where another woman went to a file drawer and gave me a copy of a story written by the enclave’s former owner. Incidentally Penny Ha’Penny has everything British you can imagine including everything that is Prince William and Princess Kate.

Havoc bought Cannon Crossing decades ago. She was in love with the 8-acre parcel of land and brought its dilapidated 19th century buildings back to life. Havoc sold it in 1989, so it went back to the town of Wilton. She died on Palm Sunday at her home in Stamford, CT in 2010., she spent her later life just loving this part of Connecticut.

If you take a trip here now, you will understand what Havoc saw when she called this gem of a place her own.

 

 

12 Comments

  1. Helen
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    What a find! Thanks for bringing this to us Ann. I thought I knew everything about Connecticut and yet you keep surprising me!

  2. Ann Nyberg
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m pushin that envelope, Helen and it’s a lot of fun!

  3. Kathy Andrews
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    How adorable, and who knew? Blink, and you’d miss it!

  4. Anna
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Ann for bringing back some dear memories – I grew up in Wilton and do love Cannon Crossing… one memory that is especially dear…when I was 13, June Havoc, Kate Steichen and I joined forces for the Wilton Animal Shelter’s (AIDS – Animals in Distress) Fund Raiser at Wilton HS…the love of animals was our glue! I went on to visit Kate for years to come, at her home in Wilton, The Pea Green Boat, she was a great influence on me & in a show of her continued support of my artistic interests, one visit she gave me a copy of her Father’s ( Edward) MOMA Exhibit Book “the Family of Man” as a gift, she autographed a picture he took of her as a child, she told me stories of growing up as his “subject”…it is one wonderful treasure! June too sent me a book after our event that day, also autographed…speaking of her & CT Treasures we only recently lost June, I remember the Times obit within the past few years…Kate passed in 1988.

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Anna, thanks for sharing that story, how cute!

  5. Anna
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    sorry missed your tribute to June’s passing in your story – thanks Ann for the work you are doing here! CT is lucky to have you!

  6. Kathy DeBurra
    Posted May 21, 2011 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    The Schoolhouse Restaurant is wonderful! So charming! They serve a great menu which often offers dishes that are comprised with their own herbs and vegetables grown from their garden. Great day trip for a special lunch. Thanks for the reminder Ann!

  7. Posted May 22, 2011 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Kathy you are right on the money here…great place for lunch anytime!

  8. Lee
    Posted November 8, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    How round the circle goes. Got here by some investigating – I have “Sirius” satellite radio in my car & love the classics, you know, Dragnet, Philip Marlowe, The Shadow and the rest. Well this morning 11/8/11 on the way to work I listened to an episode of “Suspense” from 1/24/1948 titled “Eve” starring June Havoc & since it was for 1 hour, I needed to find it online & listen to the rest. From there I looked up info on June Havoc and what a find I found. This surely is a jewel for Ct. and am glad it is remaining so. Keep it in your hearts and protect this area. So many just destroy for the sake of destroying and memories do not matter. It does to me & thank you for this little gem. Hope to someday travel here from Pa.

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted November 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Hi there, thank you do much for telling me how you got to Network Connecticut from listening to a show on radio, oh the power of search! If you get to Connecticut make sure before you leave home to search this site for other really wonderful places to see here. Thanks so much for commenting.

  9. Mike Chisum
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Anne- Cannon Crossing was my stomping ground back in 1976. I used to live at 49 Cannon Road, just across the river from Cannon Crossing. I was a paperboy for the Norwalk Hour, and after delivering papers in the winter, I would stop by the old store (where the Penny Ha’Penny is now) and buy hot chocolate. The owner would always toss a “fireball” cinnamon candy into the cup. June Havoc once hired me to rake leaves. I raked for hours and hours. I bagged all the leaves and proudly showed her my work. She admired my effort and paid me…one dollar. I was not a happy camper, but I still loved Cannon Crossing (and June).

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Mike, that is such a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it with my readers, it’s stories like that, that make me long for yesteryear.