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

Ani Hoover’s flamingo pink flock of delicate tulle “yo-yos.”
Fri, 04/07/2017 - 6:00pm - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 8:00pm

The new exhibit, Habit, Sculpture and Wall Pieces by Ani Hoover opens April 7 at the JCC Center Gallery, and focuses on two of the artist’s longtime passions, recycling and craft making.

poster
Thu, 04/27/2017 - 7:30pm - Sun, 04/30/2017 - 7:30pm

The story explores the violent means some will use to obtain fame, embodied by America's four successful and five would-be presidential assassins.

poster
Fri, 04/28/2017 - 8:00pm - 11:00pm

Enjoy the sounds of Paul Hoefler and Todd Cutshaw and sing along with some cutting edge adult comedy at Good Times Olean.

Places

Photo of Country Gentleman Antiques

The Country Gentleman Antiques opened their door for business in August 1991, but the experience of owner Gary Hollamby and dealer Vincent van Zwanenberg goes back decades. They put their years of knowledge to use when doing appraisals, estate sales, and when purchasing inventory.

Photo of Lamb Chop Masala

Mirchi, meaning chili pepper, is used in pretty much evey seasoning and every dish prepared at this brand new Restaurant.  From chicken to fish to lamb to beef, the menu lists its offerings as cultural delicacies.

Launch your kayak or canoe.  Plenty of parking available.  Paved launch.  No facilities.

Videos

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

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request that the Enchanted Mountains guide

be snail mailed to you for FREE!

NYAGT Geocaching Trails

Home to the Largest New York State Park

The Largest New York State Park is Allegany State Park which is the 3rd largest in the nation with 65,000 acres (97 square miles) and lots of trails. Allegany State Park has over 35 miles of Cross Country skiing trails, 18 hiking trails and 5.6 miles of paved multi-use trails (horseback riding, snowmobiling and more) around Red House Lake area. 3 campground areas with over 375 cabins.

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