North Cascades - Geophotography
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Howard Lake Stehekin

Howard Lake Stehekin

Some 125 years ago, prospectors headed into the upper Stehekin Valley in search of copper, gold and silver, thrashing through untamed wilderness to stake their claims. It was a tough go. One miner, Wilson Howard, staked claims around the lake at the base of McGregor in 1891. He named it Howard Lake. It’s hard to learn much about Howard. Like so many of his anonymous compatriots, Howard didn’t strike it rich and his life story disappeared into the ether of time.

Jonathan Rosenblum
Jonathan Rosenblum is a social-justice activist in Seattle. On Twitter: @jonathan4212
But this much is known: Howard was a black man, one of only two men of African descent who prospected in the North Cascades in the late 19th century. And this also is known: Within a few years of Howard’s departure from the Stehekin Valley, the white residents there renamed the lake “Coon Lake.” Seattle Times Sept 25, 2015