The Town of Erwin is in the southeast part of the county and is west of the City of Corning.
The first permanent settlement came around 1786, and "Erwin" was a census designated place on the first Census of the United States in 1790. The Town of Erwin was formed from the former "Town of Painted Post" (now Town of Corning) in 1826. Erwin was reduced to form the Town of Lindley (1837), but was increased by a part of the Town of Corning in 1856.
The "painted post" was a wooden post discovered in the south part of Steuben County. Its purpose and origin remain controversial.