The community developed where the major road between Batavia and Buffalo crossed Ellicott Creek just above Glen Falls. The water power offered by the waterfall attracted millers. The first mill was built by Jonas Williams in 1811, giving the village its first name, "Williams Mills". It still stands today, next to Glen Park, and is known as the Williamsville Water Mill. Several other mills were built near Glen Falls during the 19th century. In 1841, a raceway was constructed to divert water from Ellicott Creek to the mills, creating an island known today as Island Park. A stagecoach stop, tavern, and inn was built along the main road near Ellicott Creek by Oziel Smith in 1832. Today it is known as the Eagle House. The close crossing of the main road and Ellicott Creek's Glen Falls was the initial attraction, around which Williamsville grew. The village was incorporated in 1850.