Railway Stations of Central Frontenac

At one time, three rail lines passed through the township of Central Frontenac, Ontario. The Kingston and Pembroke Railway (K&P), also known as the Kick and Push, passed through Central Frontenac in 1876. The last run from Smiths Falls to Kingston and return on this last segment of the old K&P line, the C.P.R Kingston Subdivision, took place on October 10, 1986. The C.P.R. Kingston Subdivision, from Kingston to Tichborne, was abandoned December, 1986. The tracks were pulled up in January, 1987. It’s now part of the K&P Recreational Trail. The K&P went through the villages of Tichborne, Oconto, Sharbot Lake, Oso, and Clarendon.

The Havelock Subdivision was built by the Ontario and Quebec Railway (O.&Q.R.) in 1884, and leased to the Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R.) for 999 years. The line was abandoned in 1970, the tracks were pulled up in 1973 and its track bed is now part of the Great Trail. The Havelock Subdivision passed through the villages of Arden (Ardendale), Mountain Grove, and Sharbot Lake.

Last, but not least, is the C.P.R.’s Ontario Shore Line, now the Belleville Subdivision, built by the Campbellford, Lake Ontario and Western Railway (C.L.O.W.R) in 1914. It was also leased to the C.P.R. for 999 years. The Belleville Subdivision is the C.P.R.’s Toronto-Montreal mainline, therefore still very much an active line passing through the villages of Crow Lake, Tichborne, Parham, Echo Lake and Wilkinson.

The Kingston and Pembroke Railway Stations

The following is a list of stations that were built by the K&P.

Tichborne – There were actually two stations built by the K&P. The first K&P station, just back of Goodfellow’s store,  constantly flooded. After a request from station agent Larry Cameron for rubber boots and a visit from a railway official, the president no less, a second station was built to remedy the situation. It was built across the tracks a little bit further south. On early timetables, it was called Parham.

1912 – K&P Timetable

The K&P station is on the far bottom right – Photo courtesy of the Gary Cooke Collection

An excerpt from an article in the North Frontenac News, May 1989.

Station details:
Station # – 1047
Mileage – 65.3
Telegraph – A
Station designation – CZWR

Oconto – Not much information has been found on the Oconto Station. On early timetables it was called Olden Station due to its proximity to Olden Township. It was renamed Oconto after a town, Oconto, in Wisconsin.

We were fortunate, however, to have found a photo (below), circa 1930. It is the building on the right.

Oconto station (KP)

Station details:
Station # – 1049
Mileage – 61.
Telegraph – NA
Station designation – NA

Sharbot Lake – The K&P railway station was built circa 1876 and was located near where the Oso Township Municipal Beach is located. It seems odd it didn’t have a station sign. What happened to this first station is a bit of a mystery. There is a story that it burned down in 1883 when a new station was being built further east down the tracks. Another story says it became a store.

The building on the right is Sharbot Lake’s first railroad station.

Station details:
Station # – 1050
Mileage – 56.8
Telegraph – BI
Station designation – ZYKW

Oso Station – The Oso station was located where the K&P crosses the Bell Line Road. It was first called Bourk’s Station for Solomon Bourk (Burke), the hamlet’s first post master. The name was later changed to Oso Station. Oso is also about the mid-point of the K&P line.

Oso Station – Photo courtesy of Mrs. A. Crawford

Station details:
Station # – 1052
Mileage – 53.5
Telegraph – NA
Station designation – NA

Clarendon – There were actually two stations at Clarendon. The first station burned down on December 2nd, 1917.

First Clarendon station – Photo courtesy of Mrs. A. Crawford, the Carol Bennett Collection

Clarendon Station – Photo courtesy of the Wilfrid Coombe Collection

Clarendon Station – Photo courtesy of the Wilfrid Coombe Collection

Station details:
Station # – 1054
Mileage – 48.1
Telegraph – AR
Station designation – NA

The Canadian Pacific Railway stations.

Two C.P.R. rail lines passed/pass through Central Frontenac.

O.&Q.R.

On the January 4th, 1884, the O.&Q.R. became known as the Ontario section of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. It later became the C.P.R.’s Havelock Subdivision running from Toronto to Smiths Falls. The railway stations were all Van Horne style stations, a station style that was popular out west.

Sharbot Lake

The station at Sharbot Lake was built in 1883. It was shared between the C.P.R. and the K&P. It was a modified A12 standard station, with an operator/agent office located in each bay window.

Sharbot Lake station circa 1923 – photo courtesy of the McJanet Collection

Station details:
Station # – 1050
Mileage – 21.4
Telegraph – BI
Station designation – ZYW

The station was demolished in 1970 after the C.P.R. abandoned the line.

Mountain Grove

The first station built in Mountain Grove was also Van Horne style station.

Mountain Grove station

The Toronto Globe reported on January 23, 1914 that the Mountain Grove station was destroyed by fire the day before. The station agent was apparently later charged with arson for starting the fire. A brand-new station was built, a C.P.R. standard # 10 station. Possibly it was demolished in 1966 or was moved in 1966 to the Barr property a ¼ mile away. The station was operated by Mabel Barr and her two sons Ernie and Larry. At the time of writing this, no photo exists for the second station.

Station details:
Station # – 1150
Mileage – 30.5
Telegraph – NA
Station designation – Z

The Arden (Ardendale) station.

Unable to secure land in Arden, the O.&Q.R. built the Ardendale station just west past the village of Arden, Ontario at mile 36.2.

Ardendale station – photo courtesy of the Kennebec and District Historical Society

Station details:
Station # – 1152
Mileage – 36.2
Telegraph – NE
Station designation – NA

The Ontario Shore Line

The Ontario Shore Line rail line, as mentioned before, was built by the Campbellford, Lake Ontario and Western Railway (C.L.O.W.R) in 1914 and leased to the C.P.R. for 999 years. It’s still an active line, the C.P.R.’s mainline, the Belleville Subdivision, from Toronto to Montreal.

Crow Lake – A station and a 40,000 gallon water tower were built here when the Ontario Shore Line was being built.  A steel tank later replaced the original wooden structure. It was located on the other side of the tracks from the original.

Crow Lake station

Station details:
Station # – NA
Mileage – 34.3
Telegraph – NA
Station designation – Z

Tichborne –  When the C.P.R. went through in 1914, the C.P.R. built a station that was  a variation on a C.P.R. No. 5 standard pattern. It was shared between the C.P.R. and the K&P. The C.P.R. named the station Parham Junction. In June 1915, they  issued a bulletin saying that Parham Junction station was renamed Tichborne and a new Parham station was established two miles further west at Parham, Ontario.

Tichborne station – Photo courtesy of J. Bigham.

Tichborne station in better times

Station details:
Station # – 3010
Mileage – 40.8
Telegraph – A
Station designation – CY

Parham – Although Parham had railway service via Tichborne, Parham got its own station circa 1915 on the C.P.R.’s Shoreline line. The Parham station was a C.P.R. No.6  standard pattern.

Station details:
Station # –
Mileage – 42.8
Telegraph – NA
Station designation – NA

Echo Lake – Located between Parham and Wilkinson, the Canadian Pacific Railway went through the area in 1911-1913. They built a station on the southeast of Echo Lake. No photo exists of this station.

Map showing the location of the station at Echo.

Station details:
Station #
Mileage – 47.2
Telegraph – NA
Station designation – NA

Wilkinson – Wilkinson is located way down at Lot 4, Concession 11. At one time Wilkinson had a station on the main C.P.R. line with 3 operators and a crew of section men. Water for the steam engines was taken on from the large water tank fed from Fish Lake. Timber, ties, pulp, lumber, livestock and minerals were cargo for the trains. The station was torn down and used in another structure when diesel locomotives replaced steam engines.

Wilkinson station – Photo courtesy of the Gary Cooke Collection.

Station details:
Station # – 3055
Mileage – 52.2
Telegraph – WK
Station designation – W

Bibliography:

Canadian Pacific Railway Timetable 91, Sunday, April 29th, 1940
In Search of the K&P, Bennett/McCuaig
County of a Thousand Lakes – The Frontenac County History Committee
Back of Sunset – Michael Dawber
Oso Township Historical Society

 

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