masthead image

Clarendon Station

Introduction

Town site photo

The former general store being renovated

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Clarendon Station was a small railway village on the Kingston & Pembroke (K & P) Railway, that took form in the 1870s. Although settlers had been in the area for a number of years, the arrival of the railway attracted much needed services and led to the planning of a proper town site.

Shortly after the station was built, a general store opened right along the tracks. A sawmill quickly went into operation and the station was kept busy shipping telegraph poles and railway ties. By the 1890s, the village included a cooper, blacksmith, Anglican church and a school. A hotel and livery were added to provide accommodation to passengers shuttling to and from the station. The railway was later taken over by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).

The railway station remained in operation until the 1960s, when rail service was discontinued. Without the railway, Clarendon Station had little else to sustain it. That lasted until 1973, when a resident guitar maker named Oskar Graf, organized the first "Blue Skies" music festival. The festival continues to be held annually.

Although Clarendon Station was hit several times by fire, a surprising amount has managed to survive. The general store is now a private home and the schoolhouse, used as an artist's studio. Considering the hamlet's railway roots, it is most fitting that the station is still standing in its original locale. It too is now a private home.