In 1812 James Bennett opened the first inn and a section was devoted to the sale of general merchandise. Tanneries were operated by Eleazer Gardner and Samuel J. Smith. Other early merchants in the area were: William Holbrook, Albert Camp and William Colvill; John Hurlbert, a blacksmith and wagonmaker, came in 1824; and Thomas G. Ellis, a cabinet maker, in 1831.
In 1851 the last section of the New York and Erie Railroad was completed through Forestville. A log schoolhouse was built in 1816. In 1865 a Union Free School was organized — the first in the county.
Also in 1866 was the chartering of the Forestville Free Academy. A teacher’s training class was a feature of the school. It is said that Forestville furnished the lawyers for Dunkirk and the teachers for Fredonia.
Through the years there have been active mills, a canning factory, a stepladder factory, cheese factories, an aluminum products business, and a company which manufactures small auto parts. The village was incorporated as Forestville on April 4, 1848.