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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.

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.

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.

Learn more about the City of Olean.

Learn more about the Town of Olean.

Places in Olean

A sports bar known for its chicken wings, with over 20 different sauce choices.
Offering a whole line of specialty subs, over 20 different fresh salads, pizza, finger foods, and more.
A museum, an educational center, a community center, and a heritage and cultural center.
A family-owned restaurant that has served fine Italian cuisine since 1948.
Have a taste of a delicious local favorite!
Whether traveling to Southwestern New York on business or pleasure, the newer Best Western Plus University Inn is the place to stay!
Blueberry farm that allows you to pick your own!
Stop by for lunch, dinner or a light snack!
Fresh Produce and more!
Browse their large selection of antiques.
The people, products and history of Cutco and Ka-Bar are part of the fascinating story of innovation and commitment.
Bar and restaurant outside of Olean.
Neighborhood sports bar.
Come visit this beautiful home and converted carriage house.
Delicious beer at this craft brewery in Olean, NY

Rated the best Chinese Restaurant in Olean! Dine in or take out.

Need information on Olean?
A great place to eat in the center of Olean.
This is great spot for ice cream in Olean.

Clean, consistent, comfortable rooms for family or business trips.  Newly updated rooms with favorable reports.

Restaurant in Olean, NY.
Community College that offers meeting rooms.
Come check out their great subs!
Specialty coffee shop located on Union Street in the beautiful "Walkable Olean."
Family owned and operated picturesque campground located in Olean, NY. 

Victorian Christmas at The Olean Bartlett House 2023

Take a trip back in time with a Victorian Christmas at the Fannie Bartlett House in Olean, the Friday after Thanksgiving. Watch the Santa Claus Lane Parade before or after touring this beautifully restored mansion built in 1881 with 15 rooms, including a third-floor ballroom.

The historic house will be adorned with Christmas decorations during its annual open house on Friday from 6-9pm. There will be refreshments and raffle baskets, proceeds to benefit the Bartlett House.