Stone Stores

The Stone Store was one of two North West Company structures at Fort William that was made of stone rather than wood. It was also the only structure to survive into the twentieth century. In 1902, it was torn down to make way for the Canadian Pacific Railway's freight yards. Made of stone and roofed with tin, it was labelled as "fireproof" on Lord Selkirk's 1816 Plan of Fort William.

Fire from human or natural causes was an ever present danger, especially since most structures were wooden and heating depended on fireplaces and stoves. That fire was a concern is reflected in the listing of a fire-engine in the Fort's inventories. Yet it is not entirely clear why the Company built the Stone Store.

In the fall of 1816, the only items mentioned in this building are seven units of plug and pigtail tobacco, one keg of Madeira wine, three fort flags and one hundred and three Indian flags. In the spring of 1817, these items are not listed; instead, the Stone Store contained large amounts of provisions in the form of grease, salt, sugar, flour, and rough corn. With evidence that the North West Company schooner regularly arrived at Fort William with a fall shipment of provisions, liquors, and tobacco, it has been suggested that the Stone Store housed this fall shipment until spring. The purpose of the building, then, may have been to provide protection for these strategic supplies over winter from fire and weather fluctuations.