In 1862 the Flint Pere Marquette Railroad built its original 26.1-mile section of track from Saginaw to Mount Morris. It selected Clio, originally known as Varna, as a railroad station location. The area around Varna was covered with white pine. The railroad thrived on the shipment of logs, lumber and wood products. In 1873, Varna changed its name to Clio and this frame depot was built. As the surrounding forests were cleared, rich farmland became available. By 1881, Clio had a population of 550 and boasted a blacksmith shop, a flour mill, a shingle mill, a grain elevator and numerous general stores. Between 1880 and 1915, as many as eight passenger trains stopped at the station each day and hundreds of carloads of freight were shipped each year. The station was used by the railroads until 1960. In 1977 it was purchased by the Clio Area Historical Association.