"Tradition says a certain Drummond and McKelpin, Loyalists, were very early settlers, but left as the Revolutionary War came closer to the area." The earliest documented settlement occurred around 1771, many of the settlers migrating from Connecticut. Michael Dunning may have been the first; others included John Rhodes, Jeheil Parks, Samuel Clark, Luther Landon, Dean Chase, Ebenezer Valentine, Ebenezer Dibble, Ebenezer Millard, Obadiah Tompkins, Reuben Doolittle, Cornelius Abeel, Stephen Ireland, Robert Hemple, and William Marvin.
The town, originally called Dunning Street, was created in 1802 from part of the Town of Stillwater. More territory was gained from the Town of Saratoga in 1805. The name "Malta" is said to derive from a malt brewery in the area that was formerly called "Malt-ville" and is now Maltaville.
The village of Round Lake was founded in 1868 as "the Round Lake Camp Meeting of the Methodist Episcopical Church." Attendance the first year was 8000. In 1869 permanent cottages began to be built, replacing the original tents. In 1969, the community of Round Lake became an incorporated village within the town.