Provisions Store

Like the other buildings along the south side of the main square, the Provision Store held items mainly for consumption by members of the company. Inventories of the Provision Store taken in 1816-17 include large quantities of grease, lard, pork, flour, salt and sugar. But also listed are carrot tobacco, rope, iron, shot, ball, and kettles.

The vast amount of space used in buildings containing provisions points to their crucial role in the operations of the North West Company. For example, seventy-five thousand pounds (33,750 kg) of flour were stored at Fort William in September 1816, after canoes had forwarded most of the supplies west. Yet, despite the quantities of foodstuffs imported to Fort William for shipment into the interior, and despite the preoccupation with hunting and fishing during the winter months, journal reports of near starvation at interior posts are not unusual.