During the French and Indian War (1754-63) British troops were initially quartered (housed) in private residences. After a wave of protests from the colonists, the Provincial Assembly in 1758 authorized the construction of barracks, for 300 men each, at Perth Amboy and four other locations. The Perth Amboy Barracks were completed in the spring of 1759 at a cost of more than 4,000 pounds. Consisting of a three-story central block (officer's quarters) and flanked by L-shaped wings (soldiers), the structure was 183 feet in length and contained 26 fireplaces. The Barracks were used alternately by Americans, British and Hessian troops.
In 1847 Dr. Solomon Andrews (1806-1872) established his "Inventors' Institute" in the former Barracks. Here, in a specially constructed hangar, Andrews built and exhibited a prototype airship as early as 1849. It was from this site on June 1, 1863, that he made the world's first fully-controlled flight aboard the unpowered dirigible Aereon.
After serving for many years as the city's poor house, the Barracks were torn down in 1908 to make way for the Perth Amboy Grammar School.
This Historic Site Marker is a gift to the people of Perth Amboy from the Middlesex County Board of Chose Freeholders, 2013.