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

Murder on the Nile
Thu, 01/19/2017 - 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Aquila Theatre, in its 25th anniversary season, stages “Murder on the Nile,” by one of the greatest mystery writers in world literature — Agatha Christie. This brilliant new production features a masterful whodunit and Aquila's clever signature style.

luau clip art
Fri, 01/20/2017 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Grab your bathing suit and the kiddos and enjoy some summer fun in the middle of winter!  The Y is hosting a pool party with music, games, snacks, hot dogs and sno-cones!  Cost is only $1 per person for members and $3 per person for the general public.

Register at the front desk.

from 2016 show
Sat, 01/21/2017 - 10:00am - Sun, 01/22/2017 - 3:00pm

Whether coming off the big game season, enjoying winter sports, gearing up for spring fishing or looking to spend a fun day with family, everyone will enjoy the 8th annual Greater Olean Area Outdoor & Rec Sports Show. It brings the whole of great outdoors under one roof!

Places

Photo of Hi Ho Drive In

There's nothing better on a hot summer day than an orange cream-slush from Hi-Ho

Can you see the people?

Rock City Park is a majestic geological spectacle of enormous rock formations and is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. This prehistoric ocean floor is the World’s largest exposure of quartz conglomerate (also called ocean spar or puddingstone) and attracts thousands of visitors yearly.

Photo: Deb Wuethrich

My Old Time Bakery and Cafe recently renovated their building on North Union St.  This bakery, which also serves breakfasts and lunches, is decorated in a style of old-time chef, with a dining area that is well lit and cozy.  There is a separate area, with doors, that seats 18, but in total the restaurant seats 49. 

Videos

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

or

request that the Enchanted Mountains guide

be snail mailed to you for FREE!

NYAGT Geocaching Trails

Amish businesses are not open on Sundays

The Amish conduct business on Monday through Saturday. They do not conduct business on Sunday because that is their church services.

For more information on the Old Order Amish in New York please visit AmishTrail.com

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