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

Craig Campbell
Thu, 08/24/2017 - 7:30pm - 10:00pm

Good Times of Olean brings you the Nashville Nights Concert Series.

Olean Outdoor Fest
Fri, 08/25/2017 - 5:00pm - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 11:00pm

Help support the Rehabilitation Center, Homcare Hospice, St. Judes, Make a Wish and more at the Olean Outdoor Fest.  Proceeds will be donated to those organizations and attendees are sure to have a great time with this action packed-event.

Celeste Withiam Southern Tier Biennial
Sat, 09/23/2017 - 3:00pm - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 7:00pm

See works from local artists for the Southern Tier Biennel.  Fay Bleier, Judson Brown, James Colby, David Higgins, Jennifer Miller, Mikel Wintermantel, Celeste Withiam and many more!  This is the opening reception for the artists. 

Places

pizza

Great food and reasonable prices.  Sparky's offers the basics, hamburgers, chicken wings, pizza and subs, but they also offer Texas hots, Friday fish fry, wraps and a gluten free pizza.

View their menu.

Photo of Best Western University Inn

Whether traveling to Southwestern New York on business or pleasure, the newer BEST WESTERN Plus University Inn is the place to stay! This Olean area hotel features well-appointed guest rooms and suites, each fully-equipped with cable satellite television with HBO® and high-speed Internet access.

McDonald's logo

Playplace, Drive Thru, Credit Card, Arch Card, FREE Wi-Fi

Videos

  • Rock City Park has the largest outcropping of quartz conglomerate in the world! What a rockin' place!As you can see from this video, Rock City Park has beautiful fall colors and offers visitors a great short hiking experience.
  • Tasty tasty Beef on Weck at Beef 'n Barrel Restaurant in Olean, NY.

Travel Guide

Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County Travel Guide for 2017It'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

or

request that the Enchanted Mountains guide

be snail mailed to you for FREE!

NYAGT Geocaching Trails

Many Old Schoolhouses

There were over 170 old schoolhouses with many still in existence in Cattaraugus County

Read more