Bearsville was named for German peddler and storekeeper Christian Baehr, who built a store on the Sawkill Creek in 1839. Places of interest in Bearsville, or named for it, include Bearsville Records and Bearsville Studios, the WDST radio studios, and the Little Bear theater and restaurant complex.
On July 13, 2012, a family in Bearsville reported that their home had been repeatedly ransacked by bears that had broken into their kitchen. State wildlife specialists subsequently determined that the mother bear involved was a nuisance and would have to be killed, though efforts to shoot the bear were unsuccessful. Like many towns in Ulster County, Bearsville also has a thriving deer population.