Corn Stores

These two buildings housed corn, the fuel of the canoe brigades on Lake Superior and west as far as Lac la Pluie  (Rainy Lake). The importance of corn in the fur trade cannot be over-emphasised.  Just as a car's engine needs gasoline, a canoe's voyageurs needed food to keep it going. Mixed with grease, corn provisioned the brigades for the central portion of the fur trade route. It was also the staple diet of winterers at Fort William and at many other posts. They were raised on stilts, above the moisture of the swampy earth on which Fort William was built, so that the corn would not get wet and start to rot.

Corn is one of the many agricultural crops that the North American Natives first developed. Unlike other grains it does not grow wild, but must be carefully sown and cultivated by hand.