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

Visit with Santa
Repeats every week on the 5, 12 of September until Wed Dec 12 2018 .
Wed, 12/05/2018 - 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 5th and December 12th from 6-8pm thanks to the GOACC, City of Olean, Home Depot, and Duggan and Duggan Contractors. 

Olean Community Theatre presents "West Side Story"
Fri, 01/25/2019 - 7:30pm - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 2:00pm

Olean Community Theatre presents "West Side Story".  Based on the Book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  The story is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s.

Southern Tier Symphony Season 16, Session 2
Sat, 01/26/2019 - 7:30pm - 9:00pm

The Symphony is happy to announce the dates for our upcoming season! More details on each series will be listed soon. Don't forget to put us on your calendar!  Season 16 is titled "Wonder" and each series will bring a sense of that to the audience. 

Series 2: Music from the Movies, will be held on Jan 26th, at 7:30pm at the Olean High School. 

Places

Photo of Sparky's Pizza and Subs

Great food and reasonable prices.  Sparky's offers the basics, hamburgers, chicken wings, pizza and subs, but they also offer Texas hots, Friday fish fry, wraps and a gluten free pizza.

Hours:

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

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

Photo of Cutco / Ka-Bar Visitors Center

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

Photo of Park and Shop on West State

Buy organic items, environmentally friendly products, local products and more at Park & Shop.

A delivery option is coming soon!

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

Zoar Valley MUA has the TALLEST Basswood tree in the world!

According to the DEC, a 128 foot tall basswood within Zoar Valley has been reported to be the tallest basswood in the world.

Read more