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 townsite.
Shortly after the K&P built the first station, a general store opened right along the tracks. A sawmill quickly went into operation. They kept the station busy shipping telegraph poles and railway ties. By the 1890s, the village included a cooper, blacksmith, Anglican Church and a school. The addition of a hotel and a livery was a boon to railway, providing accommodation to passengers shuttling to and fro from the station. The Canadian Pacific Railway took over the railway a number of years later.
The railway station remained in operation until the 1960s, when the CPR discontinued rail service. 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 still takes place annually.
Fires plagued Clarendon station for much of its existence. Luckily a surprising amount 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.