Were there ever barracks situated on Barrack Hill Road?
Actually, yes. Like many Ridgefield road names, this one has a historical tie. There were barracks on Barrack Hill. Col. Charles Armand was a 23-year old French nobleman in Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army when he selected the summit of West Mountain to locate the barracks for his Partisan Legion in the summer of 1779.
At 960 feet above sea level, the peak offered, at the time, a view to the west directly to the Hudson River and the preceding ranges and valleys of Westchester, where Armand provided support to Maj. Gen. Robert Howe.
The barracks housed the approximately 160 soldiers of the Partisan Legion, who were almost exclusively French. The Legion made forays into Westchester to protect continental farmers from abuse by Loyalists, or to harass British troops. About one-third of members were cavalry, known as the Marechaussee Corps, whose job was to help police the Continental Army by patrolling for marauders, deserters, or stragglers.
The barracks were maintained until the summer of 1780, when the legion was ordered to North Carolina. The location became known as Barrack Hill and that moniker stuck to the road that eventually wove its way from North Salem Road (Route 116) westward.