With the American victory at Saratoga, France joined the war against the British. Twice during the war, the commander of the French army, the Comte de Rochambeau, passed through Farmington with his troops. One block up Main Street from “Oldgate” is a sign marking the route of Rochambeau’s two marches through the town.
In 1781 the French troops, on their way to join General George Washington’s army in Westchester County, camped off Main Street, about a mile south of the intersection of Routes 4 and 10. Rochambeau and his officers stayed at the inn run by Phineas Lewis, later known as the Elm Tree Inn. On the return trip in 1782, after Washington and Rochambeau had defeated General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, the troops may have camped along Garden Street, with the artillery and wagons near Hatters Lane.