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

YMCA Race Series
Sat, 04/10/2021 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

YMCA of the Twin Tiers is gearing up for its first annual Spring Race Series. The series includes five races across its three locations (Bradford, Olean and Wellsville. The first race kicks off in Olean on March 27th at Gargoyle Park.Participants who complete the series will receive a dri-fit T-shirt and medal.

YMCA Race Series
Sat, 04/24/2021 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

YMCA of the Twin Tiers is gearing up for its first annual Spring Race Series. The series includes five races across its three locations (Bradford, Olean and Wellsville. The first race kicks off in Olean on March 27th at Gargoyle Park.Participants who complete the series will receive a dri-fit T-shirt and medal.

Maestro Moods
Sun, 04/25/2021 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm

The Tri-County Arts Council is honored to exhibit the celebrated “Maestro Moods” watercolors and charcoal sketches by the award-winning Olean artist, Peg Bothner, from April 16 to May 22 in the gallery, 110 W. State St., Olean. Gallery hours are 12 - 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 12 - 5 p.m. Saturdays. 

Places

product

Little Chicago Distilleries LLC was started by a group of friends who wanted to bring back legal distillation of fine spirits in their hometown of Olean, which is rich in Prohibition history. They plan to provide the best spirits available, produced using ingredients obtained from New York's agricultural community. They are a New York Licensed Class D Farm Distillery.

Wings at 3rd Base

A sports bar with a strong local following! 3rd Base is known for its chicken wings, with over 20 different sauce choices. Also serving appetizers, sandwiches, salads, ribs, and pizza. Great selection of beer!

You can sit at the bar or at a booth. Watch the game, enjoy the jukebox, or play pool and darts.

Photo of Handmade-by Shelby

Handmade-by Shelby offers custom painted glassware and unique gifts!  "Painting with Shelby" classes are also located at the art studio in the heart of Olean NY!

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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