The village was incorporated in 1869. Chatham was originally named Groats Corners. The village is the home of the 1814 Blinn-Pulver Farmhouse.
Chatham hosts a variety of attractions, such as the Crandell Theater, which shows many popular movies at very reasonable prices. The Mac-Hadyn Theater is a summer stock theater, active from May through September, that puts on Broadway-style shows. The famous stage and film actor Nathan Lane was part of their company at one time.