BRANDON — Harry and Rosalee Barclay were toiling as defense workers at the Chicago Bridge and Iron shipyard during World War II when they decided to start their own business.
With $500 and a dream, Harry Barclay, who was called “Barney,” went to an Indian Motorcycle factory, purchased a bike and brought it back to their Bloomington, Ill., store they named the Wigwam.
The year was 1946 and the couple soon realized motorcycles would sell better in sunny Florida, so they moved near some friends in the small South Florida town of Ojus. Since the tiny town was not large enough to support the business, the couple opened Barney’s Motorcycle Sales in the early 1950s on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg.
Now known as Barney’s Motorcycle and Marine, the company is celebrating its 70th anniversary of being in the power sports industry. The Barclays’ grandchildren, KC Wood (St. Petersburg) and Todd Hempstead (Brandon), operate two of the locations, while Todd’s father, Ray, oversees a third store in Brooksville.