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Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada

Key Set

Keyset with six keys arranged on a circular metal band. The largest key is in the centre, and the keys decrease in size from the central key outward.  One of the hallmarks of authority in the Hudson’s Bay Company was the carrying of keys. These keys were likely for Lower Fort Garry’s Big House.
© Parks Canada


1840-1910
Steel
Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site
HG.95.1.281B-G

Location: Visitor Centre Exhibit

Since the 1600s, one of the hallmarks of authority in the Hudson’s Bay Company was the carrying of keys for the warehouse and other important buildings. It is believed that these keys were for Lower Fort Garry’s Big House.

These keys were originally fastened to a wooden board with the typed note:”These are the keys which the Commissioner of the Hudson’s Bay Company had the privilege of carrying in his “weskut” pocket when this building was known as the “Commissioner’s House.”

Prior to being placed on display, these keys were cleaned by Parks Canada conservators to remove rust using air abrasion, steel wool and a scalpel; they were then given a protective coating of tannic acid and microcrystalline wax to protect the metal surface from further rusting.