SOUTH CENTRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Bill's Old Bike Barn would be an American picker’s dream, if only Bill Morris wanted to sell any of his stuff.
His 40,000 sq. ft. private museum sits conveniently beside his Bill's Custom Cycles, a vintage motorcycle shop where Morris sells parts for old motorcycles. The businesses were built on Route 11 in South Centre Township between Bloomsburg and Berwick by buying out several shops over the 42 years Morris has been selling parts.
"We have bought out 28 Harley-Davidson and custom shops over the years," he told the Pottsville Republican-American. He also buys parts at estate sales and on buying trips to Europe.
All that buying forced him to build the Old Bike Barn, aka “Billville,” 13 years ago to house his collection. He didn’t stop at 175 motorcycles; the barn also houses 300 European carousel horses, toys, hand-carved slot machines, cameras, car emblems and movie memorabilia. He even restored one of only seven 1948 Rolls Royce pickups ever built.
Among other changes over the years, his parts business is mostly done on eBay these days. But most of the bikes are still old school.
His motorcycles include classic Harley-Davidsons, Triumphs, BSAs, BMWs, Indians, Hondas and Moto Guzzis, among others. He also has a Moto Guzzi pickup truck.
The interior of “Billville” is a replica town with a gas station, post office, smoke shop, camera store, mayor's office and banquet room that includes the bar from a nearby historic hotel. He’s adding a firehouse, general store, police station and cobbler shop that he hopes finish by November.
Morris, 72, doesn't rope off the displays so visitors can get up close and personal with items like a 1914 Triumph motorcycle, with owner's manual. "Some of the bike builders will come and take pictures of the bikes," he says. "They can come and look at mine and see how it is done."
Morris still rides a 1930 Harley-Davidson VL with a sidecar, where he carries extra oil and tools, because, he quips, the VL stands for “very leaky.”
Bill's Old Bike Barn is open to the public four days a week. Admission is $6 per person.
Posted by Holly Wagner
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