Edmunds built a house and tavern at a point that is the center of the present village, on the southeast corner of the village square. Other settlers arrived, including the tanner Jacob Rogers; Jacob Springer, whose daughter's birth was the first recorded in the village; and Aaron Willard, whose descendants gave their name to the Willard Press.
Only tenuous trails connected the early hamlet to the rest of the world. On March 28, 1805, the Town of Boonville was formed whose officers included many of the original settlers.
By this time the forest was transformed into a rude community. Here were schools, the first being Mill Lydia Bulkley's, opened in 1802; churches too, were evident, beginning with a Congregational Church formed in 1805, followed by the Baptists in 1810. The Presbyterians, Universalists and Methodists shared a small building on Post Street about 1820. Industry in the form of a sawmill, a gristmill and a tannery was progressing. There was a store and a tavern. Wilderness farms surrounded the little community.
Following the war of 1812, progress took place at a steady pace. The abundant forests gave raw materials to the various wood industries. As more and more arable land was wrenched from the wilderness, dairy farms, which are now a trademark of the area, began to evolve. Cheese factories appeared at many crossroads to handle surplus milk.
The first two-story building in town was a hotel of Trenton limestone erected in 1819 by Ephraim Owen. This building, now the Hulbert House, purchased and altered by Hulbert in 1839, still holds a prominent place in the center of the village.
In 1853 the Black River and Utica Railroad Company was formed and work was begun the same year. In 1855 a line was completed from Utica to Boonville. The depot and terminus were located north of the Schuyler-Post Street intersection. On December 13, 1855 the first official train arrived, carrying notables from Utica, and several bands. Two thousand people greeted the train at the terminal; there was a parade, a feast, and many toasts.
The Boonville Driving Park Association, formed in 1872, evolved into the Boonville Fair Association, and since has been a feature of the village. The Boonville Cemetery Association was incorporated in 1857, and benefited from the generosity of Cornelius Erwin under his will. This successful native son, at his passing in 1885, left bequests also for the purchase and development of a park which now ornaments the village along Route 12, and funds for a library which bears his name.
In 1900 there were six hotels in the Village of Boonville, two in Hawkinsville and one in Alder Creek. The Cataract Hose Company and the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company served the community well and faithfully, and in 1956 reorganized into the Boonville Fire Company, Inc.
During the great depression of the '30s the price of fluid milk, the backbone of the town's economy, reached a point below the cost of production. Gradually the economy improved and milk production again became a profitable, if rigorous, means of livelihood. The town's only state park, Pixley Falls in the Boonville Gorge, opened in 1932.
A spectacular fire on a bitter cold January night in 1958 destroyed the Comstock Opera House. Another landmark was destroyed in 1963 when the entire 95-year-old Union Block was consumed in a blaze that threatened the whole business section. Heroic work by area fire companies saved the adjacent Hulbert House.
Unwanted fires also did much to change the face of Boonville's Main Street during the 1970's including the loss of: Holcomb's Bakery and Coffee Shop, Hill's Department Store, Hess' Pharmacy, and the Dellerba Block.
In May 1983, Boonville was hit by a tornado that caused millions of dollars worth of destruction to the southeastern portion of the village. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured or killed and the local folks banded together to help the victims through the catastrophe.
Private entities and individual volunteerism have done much to improve the quality of life in Boonville. A clean environment, low crime rates, inexpensive power, and friendly people are among Boonville's major assets. Just further proof that Boonville provides the quintessential small town atmosphere ideal for raising a family.