Hungry Jack Lake Name

I recently read a version of how Hungry Jack Lake received it’s name that I had never heard before. The story I have heard is the lake was named after a man named Anderson Jackson Scott(Jack Scott).  As a hunter and trapper he knew the area and was hired by surveyors to guide them as they surveyed the land.  According to several accounts they reached a lake and set up a winter camp. When supplies were running low the surveyors snowshoed to Grand Marais but got delayed due to a snowstorm and holiday celebrations in town.  It was two weeks before they could return to camp and when they did Jack ran out from the shelter and a surveyor yelled to him,  “Hey are you hungry Jack?” Jack replied “Am I hungry Jack! I’m nearly starved to death!” And from that day on, the lake has been named Hungry Jack.

The new story I read online from the Hibbing news.  I’m not sure how it came about but it sounds like a good story to tell when camping near Hungry Jack Lake.

Iron Mike and the Wendigo Man
  • by Jack Lynch Historian

Iron Mike was the leader of the group, and he led the men in the search for their comrade.

They never found him, but they did find bits of clothing, a pick and hammer, a pack, and that was about all.

When Iron Mike talked to the men in a nearby camp of lumberjacks, they told of losing several of their friends under similar circumstances.

Iron Mike went to a nearby Indian village and found that they were preparing to leave the area.

When they were asked why they were leaving, they muttered “Wendigo” and quickly moved away, except for one of the elders..

The remaining tribal elder nervously explained that the Indians believed that a trapper had become a Wendigo when he had turned cannibal after his friends had deserted him. They left him in a cabin and went to Grand Marais where they ate like kings while their friend starved.

“What’s a Wendigo?” Mike asked.

“A Wendigo is a man who commits the unpardonable sin of eating human flesh,” the old man said. “He is condemned to continue to eat people until he dies,” the old man said. “The Wendigo will remain insatiably hungry no matter how much he eats. He can be killed by a silver knife, or silver bullet, or fire, or he himself can be devoured by a Wendigo.

“Who was this trapper?” Mike asked.

“His name was Jack. He was known as ‘Hungry Jack’ because even as a man he ate and ate and was never full. When he became a Wendigo, he was even hungrier, but now he was hungry for human flesh.”

“Where is he now?”

“He’s out roaming the woods, looking for new victims. That’s why we’re leaving the area.”

Other trappers told Mike that Jack the Trapper had a strong craving for steak sauce.

“He put it on everything,” Mike was told.

Mike had an idea. He went to the cabin and found several bottles of steak sauce. Mike poured some of the sauce into a bottle and waited until nightfall. Wendigos hunted at night. They could see very well in the dark.

When night came, Mike went hunting.

He heard something moving in the dark.

“Is that you, Jack?” Mike called out.

“”I was once known by that name,” a voice answered. The creature stepped forward. He was about 12 feet tall, had long arms with sharp claws for hands, and he grinned with a mouthful of fangs.

 “What are you known as now?” asked Mike.

“Oh, I have many names,” the creature said. “I’m called Wendigo, Weendigo, Windego, Wiindgoo, Windgo, Windago, Windiga, Wendego, Windagoo, Widjigo, Wiijigoo, Wijigo, Weejigo, Wìdjigò ,Wintigo, Wentigo, Wehndigo, Wentiko, Windgoe, Windgo, Wintsigo and wihtikow. I have other names, but I’m hungry and you look like you might make a good meal.”

“Why did you eat your friends?”

“Some friends, they abandoned me and when Tom showed up, he asked, ‘Are you hungry Jack?’ and I lost it. He was delicious. The other two came in a little later and they weren’t quite as good, and nobody’s tasted very good ever since.

“But you look like you could be good eating.”

Mike whipped out the bottle of steak sauce and splashed the creature with it.

“No!” cried the creature as his jaws snapped shut around one of his own arms. He couldn’t control himself. His fangs chomped through his arm and started eating through the rest of his body

Pretty soon, the creature had devoured his whole body except for his head, then the mouth turned itself inside out and started eating its head.

Pretty soon there was nothing left but an appetite that drifted apart into the woods.

And that’s one version of how Hungry Jack Lake got its name.

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