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

Pavilion
Repeats every week until Fri Sep 02 2022 .
Thu, 08/04/2022 - 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 28, Saturday, Twin Tiers Community Band (Variety)

Classic Car at the Car Show
Repeats every week until Fri Aug 26 2022 .
Thu, 08/11/2022 - 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.

Shakespeare image
Thu, 08/11/2022 - 6:00pm - Sat, 08/13/2022 - 9:00pm

2022 is the 14th season of Olean's Shakespeare in the Park! This years performance will be Macbeth, Directed by Jake Riggs.

The production will be performed on August 11th, 12th and 13th.

Be sure to take a lawn chair or blanket to spread out in the grass and enjoy the show.

Places

Photo of Twist and Shake

This seasonal roadside stand is one of THE BEST places to stop for an ice cream cone in the area.  Try their teriffic wraps, char-grilled burgers and hot dogs.  Make it a meal with their huge munchies menu.

UpCycle

As of Saturday, May 14th, UpCycle is open for business!  This bike shop is Olean's new and only bicycle repair shop.  They also sell and trade bikes, sell accesories and clothing.  A local group of cyclists use this as their weekly meeting spot and you can too!  Stop in for quality repairs, bicycles, clothing and accessories!  Hours are Tuesday: 12pm-5pm, Wednesday: 10

Randy's Fireside Entrees

Inviting atmosphere, cozy booths, and a crackling fireplace.

Hours:

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

Friday - Saturday
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.

Sunday
12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

 

Menu

 

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

#1 for Turkey Hunting and in the Top 3 for Deer Hunting

Cattaraugus County was named #1 overall by New York Game and Fish Magazine for turkey hunting and is in the top three for deer hunting by DEC reports.

Read more