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

Toy Train Collector Society's Fall Show 2017
Sun, 10/22/2017 - 10:00am - 3:00pm

Autumn in The Southern Tier Train Show!  The Toy Train Collectors Society is hosting a Train Show at the Olean Intermediate-Middle School where the public is welcome to attend! 

Fall Family Art Day in Olean
Sat, 10/28/2017 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Fall in and Join the Free Family Art Day! Cattaraugus County Arts Council’s Free Family Art Day will be held Saturday, October 28th from 1-4pm at the Olean Center Mall. We have had an enthusiastic response to these events that allow kids and their parents to do fun art projects together at no charge, enjoying a creative experience that is accessible to everyone.

Comedy Night to benefit The Rehab Center in Olean
Sat, 11/04/2017 - 6:00pm - 10:30pm

Join us for food, drinks and lots of laughs! The Rehabilitation Foundation is bringing in two award winning, nationally touring comedians, each with a unique background! Proceeds from the event benefit The ReHabilitation Center and people with disabiltiies in the community. 

Places

Photo of Park and Shop on Front Street

Buy organic items, environmentally friendly products, local products and more at Park & Shop.

Delivery is available from the Front Street Park & Shop!

selection at Willoughby's

Find a unique selection of Amish and solid wood furniture and country decor.

Tuesday through Thursday, 11am - 6pm

Friday, 11am - 7pm

Sunday, 10am - 5pm

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

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