During the winter of 1905 and 1906, a cattleman was wintering a herd of cattle at a spring in the vicinity of what is now Sheerness.
About mid-winter the water supply was dwindling and he decided to dig a well. About 10 feet down he struck a seam of coal and found as he dug deeper the seam was about five feet thick. He not only found water, but he tapped a coal field which supplied thousands of settlers with fuel. Before the railroad came through in 1919, horse and ox teams hauled countless tons of coal from the mine. Every fall it became a hive of industry as settlers from many miles around came and camped and waited their turn to get loaded.
One fellow from Saskatchewan came more that 90 miles to get his winter supply of fuel. He was driving six oxen and hauled three wagons. It took him three days to make the trip to the mine. After a wait of two days to get loaded, he took off on his homeward journey which he figured would take another four days.
There were many professional men who came west in those days and settled on the land. Among those who took up homesteads in the Sheerness district were three doctors: Dr. Bylers, Dr. Esler and Dr. Cameron. These men were Godsend to the early settlers. During an outbreak of diphtheria in 1912 they traveled countless miles on horseback looking after their patients.
The first post office to serve the district was on the George Crozier homestead. Mail came in by stage once a week from Bassano. In 1911 the post office was moved to Sheerness and Miss Brotherson was installed as post mistress. She married Julius Warnebolt who operated a coal mine at Sheerness for many years.
The first general store in Sheerness was operated by Lamb and Schkarabaum.
Text courtesy of The Hanna Herald