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

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.

Santa Claus
Wed, 12/07/2016 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Santa Claus will be back in the Town of Olean at his cottage in Lincoln Park.  Despite being so busy this time of year, Santa will available for kids to visit with on December 7th and December 14th from 6-8pm thanks to the GOACC, City of Olean, Home Depot, and Duggan and Duggan Contractors. 

Celtic Christmas
Wed, 12/07/2016 - 7:30pm - 9:30pm

For the past 13 years, with a world-class ensemble of musicians, dancers and singers from both sides of the Atlantic, Tomáseen Foley's "A Celtic Christmas" has played to packed concert halls and critical acclaim from Los Angeles to New York to Chicago to Palm Beach and beyond.

Places

UpCycle

As of Saturday, May 14th, UpCycle is open for business!  This bike shop is Olean's new and only bicycle repair shop.  They also sell and trade bikes, sell accesories and clothing.  A local group of cyclists use this as their weekly meeting spot and you can too!  Stop in for quality repairs, bicycles, clothing and accessories!  Hours are Tuesday: 12pm-5pm, Wednesday: 10

Photo of Twist and Shake

This seasonal roadside stand is one of THE BEST places to stop for an ice cream cone in the area.  Try their teriffic wraps, char-grilled burgers and hot dogs.  Make it a meal with their huge munchies menu.

Subway logo

Oven fresh bread and your favorite sandwich created to your liking.

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