Named "St Alice's Well" after Alice Douglas, the spirited daughter
of British Columbia governor James Douglas, the springs were first
discovered by 3 miners returning by canoe from the Cariboo gold
fields in 1858. They discovered what the local first nations people
had known for years, and had named "Waum Chuck". The spring
was believed to be a place of supernatual origin and of great benefit
to those who drank the water.
The surrounding 40 acres of land was purchased by Joseph Armstrong
in the spring of 1873 where he made plans to construct a grand health
spa. Armstrong succeeded in separating the 145 degree Fahrenheit
hot spring's water from the cold lake water, a feat engineers of the
day said was impossible. In 1886 he completed the St. Alice Hotel
near what now is the current site of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort
& Spa's Tennis Courts.
On this site was a bathhouse, which could accommodate up to 50 guests
at a time. It was destroyed by fire in 1905, and was never rebuilt.
From this location, the spring water is pumped to the resort and
feeds 6 therapeutic pools for the enjoyment of it's guests, as well
as the public pool located in the centre of the village.