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

Strolean June 2019
Fri, 10/01/2021 - 10:00am - 10:00pm

The Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and city leadership are inviting the community out for a night on the town. Working with the city and members of the business community, the Chamber is announcing “StrOlean,” the event aims to bring folks to the downtown shopping district for an evening of fun. 

Rock City Park's Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show
Sat, 10/02/2021 - 10:00am - Sun, 10/03/2021 - 5:00pm

October 2nd & 3rd,  Show Hours:  10am - 5pm.

Rock enthusiasts will have the chance to view, purchase and learn about rare and common rocks from

Dave Deckman at the Fannie Bartlett House
Fri, 11/26/2021 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Take a trip back in time with a Victorian Christmas at the Fannie Bartlett House in Olean, the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Watch the Santa Claus Lane Parade then tour this beautifully restored mansion built in 1881 with 15 rooms, including a third-floor ballroom.  Or visit before the parade starts!

Places

Photo of Fannie E. Bartlett House

About the Bartlett House

This Queen Anne-style house was originally built in 1881 by Mr. George Foreman and purchased in 1891 by Frank and Fannie Bartlett for $15,000, a hefty sum for that time. The house features nine rooms decorated in turn-of-the-century Victoriana and seven fireplaces, each different in design and composition.

Photo of logo

Stop by the sandwich shop in Olean to get the subs that everyone is talking about! 

 Other items on their menu include: wings, smash burgers, wraps, salads, and fries.

Photo of Rafi's Platter

New! Something for everyone offering a variety of ethnic cuisine—Pakistani, Italian, Greek, Lebanese.

Hours:

Monday - Thursday
11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday
11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Saturday
12:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Sunday
CLOSED

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

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request that the Enchanted Mountains guide

be snail mailed to you for FREE!

NYAGT Geocaching Trails

Ranked one of the Best Ski Resorts

Holiday Valley Resort ranked #3 on Ski Magazine's 2015-16 best in the East list!  It has 58 day slopes, 37 night slopes and 13 high tech lifts.  It also has been the training ground for Olympic ski competitors.

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