OUR HISTORY
MCNAMARA'S
1923-2011

1923- John J. (Jack) McNamara and his partner Fred Bedesen purchased Kocher Hardware and formed Bedesen and McNamara Hardware. C.E. Kocher's business was in a decline because of the boycott by the farmers due to his involvement in forming the Merced Irrigation District. Selling farm hardware and farm implements, they were the first Ford Tractor dealer in Merced County. Dynamite and mining tools were sold for the remaining gold mines in the Merced Falls- Hornitos area. 

1931- Brownie Joerg was hired to establish a gift department which became highly respected and well known throughtout the central valley. Her creative windows displays were an expectation. Brownie retired in 1968.

1946- Upon the death of his partner Fred Bedesen in 1946 Jack McNamara purchased the Bedesen interest from his estate and formed McNamara Hardware. In the same year the third floor of McNamara Hardware was converted into a year round Toy Department managed by Jack McNamara's sister, Grace Garibaldi.

1952- Jack McNamara purchased the telephone building adjacent to the hardware store and moved the toy department to the main floor. 

1956-1958- Tom and Steve McNamara returned from miliary service to join in the family buisness. 

1963- Jack McNamara retired after 40 dynamic and successful years. 

1964- The back room and storage area on 18th St. was converted into a Sporting Good Department, expanding to a Ski Shop on the mezzanine in 1966. Bill Alvilez, a faithful employee since the 1930's managed Sporting Goods.

1968- The Ski Bus Trips to Dodge Ridge began and have continued for thirty years with second generation kids of Ski Bus alumni riding.

1975-1978- The Toy Dept. was discontinued and McNamara Sports filled that space expanding to 4,500 sg. ft. Jane Brown was hired in 1978 as a bookkeeper and is with us today as a office manager. 

1978-1987- McNamara Sports Inc. was formed as Tom and Steve divided the business. The Harware Dept. was discontinued and by 1986 the buisness included a restaurant, ice cream parlor, art gallary, gourmet food, housewares and gifts as well as sporting goods.

1987- On October 17th a fire destroyed the entire building along with a considerable amount of memorabilia and history. 

1988- McNamara Sports relocated on the corner of Olive and G st. leasing 4,000 sg.ft. in Rite Aid Plaza. Dan McNamara, a recent graduate of Fresno State returned to Merced to help Steve McNamara reestablish McNamara Sports. Tom and Patty reopened McNamara Gifts in the spring of 1988 on North G st. which they closed in 1991 to seek new careers.

1991-1992- The downtown site was redeveloped into McNamara Plaza, a multi retail complex. Clairce McNamara opened Khakis, a mens and womens clothing store in McNamara Plaza and in 1994 opened a second Khakis in Sacramento. 

1994- McNamara Sports expanded its exisiting location which afforded the room to enter the screen printing and embroidery business. 

1998- Dan McNamara is general manager of McNamara Sports and a partner in the buisness. Steve McNamara can be seen on occasion in the McNamara Sports looking busy. 

1999- Steve McNamara retired phased out of McNamara Sports and into the golf course. Steve and Clarice McNamara then went on to move to Green Valley. Dan McNamara took over and became the sole owner of McNamara Sports . 

2003-2004- Dan McNamara's daughters Brittany and Courtany McNamara became the 4th generation of McNamara family relatives to work at the store. 

2010- McNamara Sports moved to its third location in Merced County. It relocated to the Bear Creek Galliera on the corner of Bear Creek and G st. Dan McNamara's middle daughter Courtany McNamara painted a mural of the McNamara family crest on the wall of the newly renevated store.