Olean, New York

Olean is a town in Cattaraugus County, New York. The name is derived from the Latin word "oleum" due to the discovery of crude oil in nearby Ischua.

The Town of Olean is in the southeast corner of the county. The City of Olean, originally the Village of Olean, is adjacent to the town.

Olean was first settled around 1805. The Town of Olean was established in 1808 as the only town in the county. The "Town of Ischua," (now Franklinville) was established in 1812, part of Perrysburg was removed in 1814, Great Valley was formed in 1818, Hinsdale in 1820, and Portville, in 1837.

The Village of Olean, was originally named "Hamilton," after Alexander Hamilton, but was called Olean Point until simplified to Olean in 1823.

The name "Olean" was suggested for the area due to the oil found in the vicinity. The famed Seneca Oil Spring, discovered by the Franciscan Missionary Joseph De La Roche D'Allion in 1627 was located about 14 miles upstream of Olean Point. The original town hall burned in 1884, prompting a law that forbade wooden structures in parts of the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.7 square miles, of which, 29.6 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles  of it (0.27%) is water

The City of Olean is a city within the Town of Olean in Cattaraugus County, New York. Olean is the largest city in Cattaraugus County, and serves as the financial, business and transportation center of the county. It is one of the principal cities of the Southern Tier region of New York.

The city is surrounded by the Town of Olean and is located in the southeastern part of the county.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.2 square miles, of which, 5.9 square miles of it is land and 0.2 square miles of it (3.73%) is water.

The city is located where Olean Creek flows into the Allegheny River and by the Southern Tier Expressway (Interstate 86 and New York State Route 17). New York State Route 417 passes east-west through the city and intersects New York State Route 16, a north-south highway.

Interesting facts:

  • Home to famous Rock City Park
  • The Olean Business Institute and a branch of Jamestown Community College are within the city
  • St. Bonaventure University is a few miles to the west in the Town of Allegany.
  • CUTCO national headquarters is based in Olean.
  • Dresser-Rand Group, Inc. North American headquarters was based in Olean.
  • Colonial Radio Group, which owns radio stations in the region and previously owned stations in the Carolinas, has been headquartered in Olean since 2009.
  • Part of the movie "Unstoppable" was filmed near a rail yard in Olean.

Upcoming Events

Sat, 10/29/2016 - 7:00pm - 11:00pm

Put the date for this bash on your calendar so you won't forget!

Tickets are available now for the Howl-O-Ween bash which includes some fantastic bands, great door prizes, costume prizes, munchies and basket raffles!  Tickets are available at Studio 4 East, The Chuckwagon, Community Brank Branches, and online at SPCAcattco.org.

Euchre Tourney in Olean
Sun, 10/30/2016 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Join in an action packed Euchre Tournament to benefit the African American Center for Cultural Development in Olean.  The Center recently moved into its new home and some more furnishing and updates are needed!  Buy in is just $5 and there will be snacks and prizes available.  Grab your partner or come alone! 

Jettatura 5, by Carey Watters
Fri, 11/04/2016 - 6:00pm - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 8:00pm

The Cattaraugus County Arts Council is proud to announce the new exhibit at the JCC Olean Campus Center Gallery, “Working With Paper: Debra Eck & Carey Watters,” which features intricate artworks assembled from paper. Debra Eck is an internationally exhibited book and installation artist who works primarily with paper, text and thread.


Photo of sandwich

A&Js subs have been around since 1974 and is best known for freshly made sub rolls. Baked daily in on site bakery. Offering a whole line of Specialty subs as well as pizza dough which is also made daily.

AND if healthy is more of your cup of tea, try one of the many healthy salads which are also made fresh daily.

Free DELIVERY  Call Today!

Good Times of Olean

Good Times of Olean is home to a 16 lane bowling center that holds the latest in Qubica AMF equipment. Friday and Saturday nights have open bowling, and leagues are held during week day evenings.

They have fully restored the 18 hole miniature golf course found at Forness Park. Sign up for one of their adult putt-putt leagues today!

Photo of Great Wall Chinese Restaurant

Rated the best Chinese Restaurant in Olean!


Travel Guide

Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County Travel Guide for 2016It's a full 56-page comprehensive guide, highlighting the activities and attractions in our County and it's FREE!!

View the visitor's guide online


request that the Enchanted Mountains guide

be snail mailed to you for FREE!

NYAGT Geocaching Trails

Only East West Route that connects Canada with Mexico

Rt. 62 is the only east-west route that connects Canada with Mexico.

With its origin at Niagara Falls and end at El Paso, Texas, parts of the road follow the Ozark Trail.

Rt. 62 begins in Cattaraugus County in the Village of Gowanda and travels south through Dayton, Leon and Conewango (through Amish country) before heading west into Chautauqua County.

Read more