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

Sat, 06/04/2022 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Tri-County Arts Council - Events

Tatting is a type of vintage lacework that uses a basic double knot that is repeated over and over again, done with a tatting shuttle. Come find out how to make lace edgings, snowflakes, and more. If you enjoy crochet, knitting, embroidery, and sewing, then there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy tatting.

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)

Places

Forness Park is a public park in Olean, NY.

Sage Logo

Your one-stop shop for health and wellness eating and more...Sage offers smoothies, salads, protien shakes and other high quality products and solutions for natural, healthy and conscious living. Be sure to check their upcoming events!

Photo of Beef 'N Barrel

The Beef ‘n’ Barrel specializes in Premium Roast Beef that is slow-roasted until tender, then sliced to order at dining room carving stations. Although this treasured restaurant offers many different handcrafted dishes, it is famous for its Beef on Weck. This sandwich is relatively unknown outside of the area, but is just as ubiquitous as Buffalo wings in Western New York.

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.

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NYAGT Geocaching Trails