The community is named after the geographic township of Garson, named by the Ontario Government in the 1880s for William Garson, who represented Lincoln in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1886 to 1890. The area was first developed in 1888 as a logging camp, by the Holland and Emery Lumber Company of East Tawas, Michigan. In that year this firm constructed a narrow gauge logging railway from Wahnapitae, establishing its main operations at Headquarters Lake, near the Garson townsite. Logs from this area were taken to the Wanapitei River and driven to Lake Huron. Eventually this track was extended north into Capreol Township.