2014-02-19 / Front Page

Farrington’s Station, Serving College Point For 146 Years

BY JASON D. ANTOS


The with grandfather John Farrington’s great- pictured his racehorse. station began as a blacksmith shop that made custom horseshoes for race horses. The with grandfather John Farrington’s great- pictured his racehorse. station began as a blacksmith shop that made custom horseshoes for race horses. A Mustang owner getting gas at a College Point service station would be fascinated to know that the business has been catering to mustangs since 1868. Well, to those that traveled on four legs that is.

Farrington Service Station, which opened in 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, is and has been owned by the same family for generations and has been located on the very same street corner for 146 years.

“My father and my grandfather before him always said, ‘Never sell your luck,’ ” said John Farrington, who co-owns the station at 15th Avenue and 126th Street with his brother, Michael.

The business, started by his great-greatgrandfather William Farrington, began as a blacksmith shop providing feed and horseshoes. Farrington, who created specialized racing horseshoes, was also an avid racer and owned several horses.


John G. Farrington proudly displays a permit from September, 1917 from the city of New York allowing the sale of gasoline for greatgrandfather John Farrington. On the wall behind Farrington are the horseshoes used at the original Farrington Station blacksmith 146 years ago. 
Photos Jason D. Antos John G. Farrington proudly displays a permit from September, 1917 from the city of New York allowing the sale of gasoline for greatgrandfather John Farrington. On the wall behind Farrington are the horseshoes used at the original Farrington Station blacksmith 146 years ago. Photos Jason D. Antos The station then went to the great grandfather, John Farrington, at the turn of the 20th century.

It was this Farrington who witnessed the progression of horses to automobiles and quickly realized that it was time for the business to provide a different kind of service. According to records, the station began pumping gasoline as far back as 1917. Since then, the station has been through several suppliers of gas, including Sinclair, BP and now Gulf.

Later on, the station went into the hands of Farrington’s father George.


(L. to r.); John G. Farrington with Doug and Fred Otto outside the 146 year old Farrington’s Service Station in College Point. (L. to r.); John G. Farrington with Doug and Fred Otto outside the 146 year old Farrington’s Service Station in College Point. The Farrington family has a rich history in Queens spanning more than three centuries, back to the time when the Dutch controlled the area, then known as New Netherlands. There used to be a Farrington’s Meadows just south of the Whitestone Expressway, which is now the present day location of Farrington Street. A Farrington also married into the family of John Bowne, another iconic figure of historic Queens.

In recent years, escalating oil delivery costs have put Farrington’s on the brink, forcing it to sell gas for more money than its cor porate owned competitors nearby.

“We were buying the gas directly from Gulf and were having a very difficult time being competitive with our prices,” Farrington said. “We were selling maybe 30,000 gallons a month, down from 70,000 or 80,000.”


Below the interior of the station, where a portrait of great-grandfather John Farrington still hangs, contains dozens of old black and white pictures documenting the rich history of both the station and College Point. Below the interior of the station, where a portrait of great-grandfather John Farrington still hangs, contains dozens of old black and white pictures documenting the rich history of both the station and College Point. Relief came last year when the family made a deal with a local businessman who owned other stations and agreed to lease their gas tanks from them and pay the gasoline delivery costs.

This allows the station to sell 70,000 or 80,000 gallons per month at 10 to 15 cents lower than any of its competitors.

While the Farrington brothers now have careers outside of the station, they drop in frequently to check in on two cousins who run it – and to pay homage to their father, George, who died a year ago at age 83.

“My father grew up in the house behind the gas station. He worked here his whole life,” John said, adding that his mother still lives just a few houses down the street.

Customers who visit the station will be attended to by brothers Doug and Fred Otto who have worked for Farrington’s Service Station for the last 30 years; Fred as Farrington’s Service Station Manager and Doug as a pump attendant.

The interior of the station house is decorated with dozens and dozens of historic photographs showing the station’s transformation from blacksmith to gas pumps and the equally striking transformation of College Point, once a beautiful, green waterfront pleasure ground filled with beer halls and ocean front pavilions.

“We continue with this business to pay homage to our family members who carried this station through many generations and historic times,” said Farrington.

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