Olean, New York
Olean, New York is located in the south-western corner of the state, on the eastern edge of Cattaraugus County. The city lies along the Allegheny River and is bordered by the townships of Olean and Portville. It has a total area of 10.2 square miles with 5.8 square miles being land and 4.4 square miles being water. The elevation in Olean is 1,077 feet above sea level.
The city is situated in a valley that has been formed by the Allegheny Plateau which ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above sea level. The majority of Olean’s terrain consists of rolling hills that are covered with mixed hardwood forests and agricultural fields. There are also several small streams that flow through the area including Bunker Hill Creek which runs through the center of town and empties into the Allegheny River near downtown Olean. The city has several parks including Lincoln Park which features a small pond for fishing as well as playgrounds and picnic areas. The nearby Allegany State Park offers hiking trails, camping sites, and other recreational opportunities within its 22,000 acres of land.
History of Olean, New York
Olean, New York was first settled in 1765 by Zebulon Scovill, a Revolutionary War veteran. The town was named for its location near the Allegheny River and the Olean Creek. The area quickly grew and by 1835, it had become an important port city with a population of over 1,000 people. During this time, Olean served as a hub for transportation of goods between Buffalo and Pittsburgh.
In 1844, the Seneca Oil Company opened its first oil refinery in Olean which helped to fuel the city’s growth and prosperity. By 1860, Olean had become a major center for oil production and refining with over 46 refineries in operation. Oil production continued to be a major industry in the city until World War II when it began to decline. Afterward, many of the refineries were converted into chemical plants that still remain today.
In 1851, Olean was incorporated as a village and by 1897 it had grown to become one of the largest cities in Cattaraugus County with a population of 8,000 people. During this period several new businesses were established including banks, stores, hotels and churches which helped contribute to the city’s growth and development.
The 20th century saw continued growth for Olean as new industries moved into town including manufacturing companies such as Dresser Industries and General Electric which provided jobs for many local residents. In addition to industry, education also became increasingly important with St Bonaventure University opening in nearby Allegany in 1948 followed by Jamestown Community College opening its Olean campus in 1973.
Today, Olean is still an important regional center with many businesses located downtown as well as several large industries located nearby providing employment opportunities for local residents. It remains an attractive place to live due to its affordable housing market and access to recreational activities such as hiking trails at nearby Allegany State Park or fishing on the Allegheny River.
Economy of Olean, New York
Olean, New York is a small city located near the Allegheny River and Olean Creek. Its economy is largely based on its location as a transportation hub between Buffalo and Pittsburgh, as well as its oil production and refining industry. Today, Olean’s economy is still largely dependent on these two industries, although it has diversified to include other sectors such as manufacturing, education, retail and tourism.
Oil production was the foundation of Olean’s economy from the mid 19th century until World War II when it began to decline. Since then many of the refineries have been converted into chemical plants which still remain today providing employment opportunities for local residents. In addition to oil production, transportation has also remained an important part of Olean’s economy with several major highways passing through the city such as Interstate 86 and Route 17 making it an ideal location for businesses needing easy access to both Buffalo and Pittsburgh.
Manufacturing has also become increasingly important in Olean’s economy with companies such as Dresser Industries and General Electric setting up operations in town providing jobs for many local residents. In addition to manufacturing, education has also become increasingly important with St Bonaventure University opening in nearby Allegany in 1948 followed by Jamestown Community College opening its Olean campus in 1973.
Retail is another major part of Olean’s economy with downtown being home to many businesses such as banks, stores, hotels and churches which help contribute to the city’s growth and development. Tourism has also become increasingly important in recent years due to its proximity to Allegany State Park which offers hiking trails and fishing opportunities on the Allegheny River making it an attractive place for visitors from all over New York State.
Olean’s economy is quite diverse offering employment opportunities across multiple sectors including transportation, oil production/refining, manufacturing, education, retail and tourism making it an attractive place for both businesses looking for a convenient location between Buffalo and Pittsburgh as well as individuals looking for affordable housing with access to recreational activities nearby.
Politics in Olean, New York
The politics in Olean, New York are largely dominated by the Democratic Party. Olean is located in Cattaraugus County, which has voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1988. This trend is echoed in local elections as well; the mayor and all of the city council members are currently Democrats.
The Democratic Party holds a strong majority in Olean and Cattaraugus County, as evidenced by voter registration numbers: approximately 66 percent of registered voters are Democrats, while only 23 percent are Republicans. Unaffiliated voters make up the remaining 11 percent of registered voters.
At the state level, Olean is represented by Senator Catharine Young (R) in the New York State Senate and Assemblyman Joseph Giglio (R) in the New York State Assembly. However, both Senator Young and Assemblyman Giglio tend to vote on issues with a moderate stance that appeals to both Republican and Democratic constituents alike.
Olean’s citizens have long been active participants in local politics. In recent years, there have been several grassroots political initiatives aimed at addressing issues such as poverty, economic development, and environmental protection. The most successful of these initiatives was an effort to pass legislation that would require all employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees; this legislation was ultimately passed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013.
Politics in Olean tend to be quite moderate compared to other parts of New York State and across the country due to its location between Buffalo and Pittsburgh as well as its diverse population which includes both urban and rural residents. The city’s citizens take an active role in local politics through grassroots initiatives aimed at improving their community while also being mindful of fiscal responsibility when it comes to government spending.