About Early Belleville

Finding a mill site on the Sugar River, Belleville’s founder John Frederick, settled here in 1845. His mills prompted "Yankee" settlement and a village developed with a hotel/tavern, blacksmith, harness maker and general store. In 1847, an octagon-shaped school was erected followed by the formation of Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian congregations.


In 1851, the village was platted and named for Frederick's native place, Belleville, Canada West. A post office was established in 1852. In the 1850s and 60s Swiss, Irish and French groups acquired adjacent farm lands. The 1870s and 80s brought new growth with a library, opera house and railroad. By 1900, a fire department and high school were part of this flourishing village.

Belleville Area Historical Society