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

2018 Rock City Park opening
Tue, 05/01/2018 - 9:00am - 6:00pm

Stretch your muscles as you follow a path over, under and even through rocks that tower as high as 80 feet!  You'll first enjoy the mighty sweep of the mountaintop view of 1000 square miles of Enchanted Mountains from "Signal Rock", once a long range signaling point for Indians.

Olean Theatre Workshop presents Motherhood Out Loud
Thu, 05/10/2018 - 7:30pm - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 4:00pm

Olean Theatre Workshop presents "Motherhood Out Loud".  Bring your mother for Mother's Day!!  MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD…never fails to strike both the funny bone and the heart.

2018 Rock City Park Mother's Day Craft Show
Sat, 05/12/2018 - 10:00am - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 5:00pm

The Arts & Crafts Show will include returning popular artists and crafts people as well as new artisans who will be displaying their watercolors, oils, sculptures, photography, jewelry, glass, metals, wood and much, much more.  Vendors will be located indoors, but then visitors can take a hike through the park, exploring the huge rocks and crevices in, under and around them. 

Places

Children's section of Library

Books and audiobooks, periodicals and reference material, DVD's and videos, free high speed internet access.

Hours:

Monday through Thursday:  9am - 9pm

Friday:  9am - 6pm

Saturday:  10am - 5pm

Sunday:  1-4pm

Steak Sub at AJ's

A&J's has been serving Olean since 1974. It is best known for its homemade rolls, which are baked on-site daily. Offering a whole line of specialty subs, over 20 different fresh salads, pizza, finger foods, and more.

 

Hours:

Monday
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday - Friday
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

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.

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

Top 10 site for Steelhead Fishing

Cattaraugus Creek has been listed in the top 10 sites for Steelhead Fishing (rainbow trout fishing) by 2 outdoor magazines. Steelhead Trout AKA Rainbow trout are very similar to Salmon in both taste and habits. Unlike other areas of the United States, our native Rainbow trout (Steelhead Trout) spend a majority of time in Lake Erie a freshwater lake and spawn in the Cattaraugus Creek and other tributaries.

The following is from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation's article "Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries"

Lake Erie's tributary streams, both big and small, receive an annual run of migratory rainbow trout called "steelhead." From October through April, thousands of steelhead ascend New York's Lake Erie tributaries on their mission to spawn. Excellent fishing opportunities await any angler who wishes to try their hand at steelhead fishing. Between the acrobatic leaps, long drag-screaming runs and rod quaking head shakes, the fight of an early run steelhead is a truly exhilarating experience.

Read more about Steelhead/Rainbow fishing on the Cattaraugus Creek

Read more