Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa
Named in association with Harrison Lake, in turn named in 1828 after Benjamin Harrison, then a director of the Hudson's Bay Company, later Deputy Governor, 1835 - 1839. Harrison River is labelled on Arrowsmith's 1846 map.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
"...The hot springs were discovered accidentally one wintry day when a boat upset and its occupants, expecting to perish in the icy water of the lake, were amazed to find themselves in warm water."
Source: Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V; British Columbia Place Names; Sono Nis Press, Victoria 1986 /or University of British Columbia Press 1997
Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie remarked about the hot springs [20 miles above the head of Harrison Lake] during his travels through this area in 1859, and named the springs St. Agnes' Well in honor of Governor James Douglas' daughter. Begbie also named St. Alice's Well [since renamed Harrison Hot Springs] for another of Governor Douglas' daughters. (Begbie: Journey into the Interior of British Columbia 1859, published in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society vol 31, 1861, pp 237-248). "At the 20-Mile House [20 miles above the head of Harrison Lake] there is a hot spring & baths; rude wooden affairs. Water a slight smell of sulphuretted hydrogen, & said by bath proprietor to contain common salt & nitrate of soda; reputation for cure for rheumatism; the water runs out of the solid rock at the foot of the hill in a small stream the size of one's finger; hot enough to boil an egg; similar spring at the foot of Harrison Lake [now Harrison Hot Springs]." (Cheadle: Monday, October 5, 1863: Cheadle's Journal of a Trip Across Canada 1862-1863, Graphic Publishers Limited, Ottawa, 1931.)