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

Pfeiffer Nature Center Wreath Sale 2018
Wed, 11/14/2018 - 11:00am - Fri, 11/16/2018 - 4:00pm

Bring a bit of Nature closer to you this holiday season by displaying a beautiful holiday wreath.  Choose from a handmade, decorated or undecorated Fraser Fir or Boxwood. 

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Come join Santa and Mrs. Clause as they officially light the town's holiday decorations!

Fri, 11/23/2018 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Come join Santa and Mrs.

Places

Photo of Thrive Gluten-Free Treats & Juicery

Lydia, the owner, has been baking gluten free products for many years, and after refining her recipes, has decided to make treats for the public.  Now she offers truly delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and vegan options. 

She also offers smoothies and teaches juicing and smoothie making classes.

Steak and Shrimp Fajita at El Mariachi, Olean, NY

Over 200 classic Mexican and Tex-Mex menu items including favorites like arroz con pollo, chiles poblano, and carne asada. Many varieties of tacos, burritos, fajitas and quesadillas.  Also serving several vegetarian dishes.

 

Hours:

Monday - Thursday
11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Photo of Drive In

There's nothing better on a hot summer day than an orange cream-slush from Hi-Ho.  You can also make this the perfect spot for a lunch break!

 

Hours (Seasonal):

Daily
12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

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 2017It'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

First NASCAR points champion

Did you know that the very first NASCAR points champion began his career at the Penny Royal Race Track in Leon?

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