Halcyon Hot Springs

Feature Type:Springs - Site of a natural flow of water issuing from the ground. Plural of Spring.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: E side of Upper Arrow Lake below Galena Bay, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°31'29''N, 117°54'05''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 82K/12

Origin Notes and History:

Halcyon Hotsprings (one word) adopted 1 March 1956 on Columbia River Basin manuscript 20; form of name changed to Halcyon Hot Springs 6 October 1965 on 82K/NW.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Pioneering riverboat captain Robert Sanderson ( -1924) staked a mineral claim here and built the first hotel in 1894, chosing the name Halcyon for its connotation of contentment. During the turn-of-the century goldrush, the hot springs gained a worldwide reputation for the healing power of the water, and it was bottled and shipped as far away as London. The gold rush ended, the steam boat traffic stopped, and the hotel was sold & resold, becoming increasingly run down. Brigadier-General Dr. Frederick Burnham, surgeon, bought the hotel in 1924 and successfuly changed it into a sanatorium. Burnham died in the 1955 fire that burned the hotel to the ground. With no road in place, the site was abandoned. Since re-built. See story of the first Halcyon Hot Springs hotel, written by Sanderson's daughter, in Nelson Daily News, 26 February 1955.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

The word "halcyon" refers to the Belted Allusion Kingfisher, megaceryle halcyon. Legend tells that the wind god, Aeolus, calmed the winds so that the bird could breed in the winter solstice, hence "halcyon days".

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

The halcyon was a bird fabled by the ancients to breed in a floating nest on the sea at the winter solstice, with the ability to charm wind and waves into calm for the purpose. Hence halcyon means "calm" or "blissful". (Geological Board File 0575).

Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa

These springs were well known to the Kootenay and Colville Indians, who at times fought over their ownership. In 1889 the springs were acquired from the Indians by Robert Sanderson, who built a sanatorium here. Sanderson chose the present name. "Halcyon" as an adjective has the meaning of "calm, tranquil, or peaceful."

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