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

Classic Car at the Car Show
Repeats every week until Fri Aug 26 2022 .
Thu, 06/09/2022 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

A fleet of classic cars will be on full display every Thursday through the summer until August 25th in the parking lot of the Olean Center Mall.

Pavilion
Repeats every week until Fri Sep 02 2022 .
Thu, 06/09/2022 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm

The City of Olean Music Series is back!

Starting May 26th, concerts will run from 6:30pm - 8:30pm every Thursday at Olean's Lincoln Park, with four Saturdays and a Monday being added to the list too.

• May 26, Freddy and The Jets (Oldies)

Gus Macker logo
Fri, 06/10/2022 - 8:30am - Sun, 06/12/2022 - 5:00pm

The one and only Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball, America's largest outdoor basketball tournament, will be held in Olean on June 10th - 12th.

Places

Jamestown Community College has a number of meeting rooms.  Two weeks booking requirement.   Audio/visual equipment can be requested for any of the rooms and most have wireless access.  There is a Comissary/Cafe located on campus that will cater.  The parking facility will accommodate 250 cars.  Lodging is available within 1 mile of the college.

Can you see the people?

Rock City Park is a majestic geological spectacle of enormous rock formations and is often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. This prehistoric ocean floor is the World’s largest exposure of quartz conglomerate (also called ocean spar or puddingstone) and attracts thousands of visitors yearly.

Photo of Four Mile Brewing

Four Mile Brewing is a great stop for craft beer enthusiasts.  Their home is a former brewery which was closed during Prohibition.  They've updated the building and added a kitchen which serves deli-style sandwiches, salads and jumbo pretzels.

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

2022 Guide Cover

It's a full 56-page comprehensive guide, highlighting the activities and attractions in our County.

Request the Enchanted Mountains guide to be snail mailed to you for FREE!

NYAGT Geocaching Trails

Building made of Extinct Wood

The cabin at Pfeiffer Nature Center is made entirely of American Chestnut, which is now extinct.

Read more