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

Olean's Dyngus Day Celebration
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 5:00pm - 9:00pm

The coming of Easter means the end of Lent.  Polish tradition celebrates the day after Easter as well, called "Dyngus Day". Dyngus Day celebration is held by the Pulaski Club of Olean, located at 1104 N.

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Greater Olean Home Show 2019
Fri, 04/24/2020 - 5:00pm - Sun, 04/26/2020 - 4:00pm

The Greater Olean Home Show is where to go for the latest in products and services for your home! Each year, in one location, business experts gather with everything from kitchen and bath appliances to windows and siding.  Hundreds of homeowners will walk through the doors of William O.

Places

lobby

Clean, consistent, comfortable rooms for family or business trips.  Newly updated rooms with favorable reports.

Photo of steak knives

The Visitors Center showcases the growth of CUTCO and Vector Marketing Corporation - the exclusive marketer of CUTCO - and portrays the rich heritage of KA-BAR knives. Guests will learn how products are made and sold. Displays include antique kitchen cutlery, military and pocket knives, as well as historical photographs and documents. CUTCO and Kabar products can be purchased.

Photo of Cutco / Ka-Bar Visitors Center

Monday-Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Videos

  • Provided by the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and Olean Business Development. 
  • 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 2020It'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

Meaning of the word Cattaraugus

CATTARAUGUS, from a Seneca Indian word meaning “bad smelling banks,” referring to the odor of natural gas leaking from rock seams. http://www.dos.ny.gov/info/pdfs/countynames.pdf

The word "Cattaraugus" means "foul-smelling river bank." This name is a result of the natural gas that oozes from the river mud. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattaraugus_Creek.

In our opinion, only some of the river banks are bad smelling. Come on over and visit a creek in Cattaraugus County and tell us what you think.

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