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

Trivia Night with Paul Hoefler
Thu, 11/01/2018 - 8:00pm - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:00pm

Join Paul Hoefler (of Dueling Pianos) every other Thursday evening at the HammerBack Bar & Grill as he hosts the funniest, best Trivia Night around.

Teams can sign up at no cost and compete for $125 in prizes! Two rounds of trivia will be conducted and teams must compete in both rounds so make sure to get there early to get your spot.

Visit with Santa
Wed, 12/12/2018 - 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 12th from 6-8pm thanks to the GOACC, City of Olean, Home Depot, and Duggan and Duggan Contractors. 

Ice Skating Days of Christmas at the William O Smith Rec Center
Wed, 12/19/2018 - 6:00pm - Tue, 01/01/2019 - 4:00pm

Through the generosity of the community businesses and organizations listed below, the City of Olean Youth Bureau & Recreation Department is offering free admission for public ice skating the following dates and times.  There is a $2.00 skate rental fee.

Places

Burger at Robbins Nest, Olean

New location, but same great food and service.

Proudly serving fresh, home-cooked meals daily. Known for their large pancakes and "The Nest" dish you can't help but feel like family here!

 

Hours:

Monday
CLOSED

Tuesday - Thursday
7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Friday
7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Photo of Olean Point Museum

The museum is located in the converted Carriage House on the Bartlett Historical House property. The carriage entrance, hayloft and horse stalls are still visible.

Opened in 1998, the Museum has undergone several exhibit changes and several theme exhibits to attract visitors.

Photo of camo jackets at WhitetailCountry Sports World, Inc.

Whitetail Country Sports World offers sporting goods, hunting supplies, canoes, fishing equipment, archery equipment, rifles, ammo, fishing trips and more!

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 2018It'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

Huge Outdoor Sculpture Park

Griffis Sculpture Park is located on over 400 acres and holds over 250 sculptures.

Read more