In the history of Barrington, with the introduction of the railroad station in 1854 creating Barrington Station, the current downtown began taking shape. One of the first buildings located at 250 East Main Street was home to a Blacksmith who purposed horseshoes for local farmers. Stiefenhoefer Blacksmith Shop was the name of the business which was a part of a new group of buildings on the block constructed after a big fire in 1898.
This excerpt taken from the Barrington Area Library gives more detail: “John Hatje and George Stiefenhoefer were blacksmiths where the jewelry and baker shops are on the north side of East Main Street between Hough and the track. The firm was dissolved and Hatje started a shop in the old Friend store building where Miller Oil Co. now is. It was the only lathed and plastered blacksmith shop I have ever seen. Hatje’s son William joined him and the firm became P.J. Hatje & Son. William Hatje closed the business later. Stiefenhoefer continued to operate a blacksmith shop. In about 1918 or 1919 he started to build cabs and bodies for automobile trucks and in 1920 moved to the abandoned Stevens Vacuum Husker plant on James Street, establishing the Stiefenhoefer Cab & Body Co. That building is now the core of the Barrington Press plant.”
A number of fires had destroyed the original buildings, which were then run by C.T Blair, a blacksmith who then ran a monument and cutting shop on the site in the early 1900s.
By 1930, the location became Cities Service Oil Station, which stayed in business into the early 1960s and was known as the Barils-Citgo Cities Service Oil Co. By the 1970s it was a Citgo Service Station – and that is when the Hollis Brothers come in.
Oldest brother, Tom was working at the station doing auto repair, when the original owner, who was leasing the building to Tom offered it to him. Tom invited his younger twin brothers, Dave & Steve to become partners in the business. Hollis Brothers Automotive Repair was born in 1973.
30 years late, in 2003 – with Tom divesting himself, the brothers decided that a major renovation was necessary. The need for a gas station was not necessary, so they decided on a plan that more than doubled the size of their current facility.
Working with the village of Barrington, Hollis Brothers designed and built a beautiful two story garage that can service vehicles in six bays with a brick facade that makes it one of the highlights of downtown Barrington. The building and grounds have won various beautification and landscaping awards. It’s that same care and design with the facilities that transfers to the values Hollis Brothers have in service to their customers.