In 1796, James and John Garlinghouse put up a cabin in the Hunt Hollow, slightly within the current borders of Springwater. In 1807 Seth Knowles brought his family across the in of Hemlock lake, to a log cabin he had built the previous year in what is now Springwater.
The Town of Springwater was formed by an act of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York on April 17, 1816, with an effective date of “the first Monday of April next” or April 7, 1817. The first town meeting was held on April 9th, 1817. Elected at the first meeting were a Supervisor, town clerk, 3 assessors, 3 commissioners of highways, 3 school commissioners, 2 overseers of the poor, 2 school inspectors, a constable, 11 path masters who also served as fence viewers, and 2 pound masters. Several men served in multiple posts.