August 18, 2022

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“They might take away our lives, however they’ll by no means take our freedom … or the Davidson household cottage!”

That’s the battle cry of a gaggle of Scots preventing to guard the ancestral cottage of the enduring American bike producer, Harley-Davidson.

The Davidson Legacy Preservation group is a non-profit making group working to protect, retain and improve the accessibility of the Davidson Cottage in Netherton, Angus, Scotland UK. 

Group chair Nyree Aitken says they hope to advertise the household residence and its historic significance to the biker group.

Davidson Legacy Preservation group (from left): Seth Wing (vice chair), Nyree Aitken (chair), Jasper Watson, behind her Kevin Webster, Andy Harper (secretary), Mike Sinclair (founder), David Fraser, Maggie Sherrit (founder) and entrance is Ian Wallace (treasurer)

“The cottage was put up on the market as the present homeowners want to retire however the one gives they’ve had have been from builders to knock it down and construct new homes,” Nyree says. 

“We as a group of bikers, are not looking for such a big a part of historical past to be misplaced.”

The Harley-Davidson cottage, ancestral legacy of the American Motorcycle manufacturer. Media sourced from The Scotsman.
The Harley-Davidson cottage, an ancestral legacy of the American Motorbike producer. Media sourced from The Scotsman.

The group is hoping to safe charity standing earlier than launching a crowdfunding marketing campaign to boost £500,000 to purchase the Davidson cottage and make use of a mission employee to run and preserve the Davidson Legacy for future generations.

Harley-Davidson govt Invoice Davidson and boss Jochen Zeitz visited the cottage final summer season when filming the Sporter S promotional video. 

Invoice feedback within the video beneath of the ‘awe-inspiring and emotional expertise’ of visiting his ancestral residence. 

“The truth that they’ve preserved it for riders around the globe to return and revel in and spend time right here, fairly superior,” All says.

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“Heritage is so highly effective and is actually distinctive to our firm which I’m so happy with.”

Nyree says Invoice’s feedback assist to maintain them motivated and provides to their marketing campaign is ‘really worthwhile.’

In 2008, Harley-Davidson lovers Mike Sinclair, Maggie Sherrit, and Keith Waterproof coat discovered the cottage, by then a crumbling destroy. 

The property was earmarked for demolition to make approach for brand new housing growth. Fortunately, these three determined to not let that occur. 

They purchased the cottage and arrange the Davidson Legacy to save lots of the location as a tribute to the pioneering Davidsons. 

For 4 years the Davidson Legacy staff has labored tirelessly to revive the little home to how it might have regarded when Sandy and Margaret left it in 1858 to make the grueling journey to America.

“The restoration of The Davidson Cottage was a giant endeavor and an arduous job even with all the assistance from native bikers however, in the long run, it was all price it,” Nyree says. 

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Harley-Davidson's Enthusiast Collection, featuring units inspired to honour vets. Media sourced from Ultimate Motorcycling.

“Possibly it displays the lengthy, troublesome journey that Sandy and Margaret made with their youngsters, together with little William C, who went on to change into a father to the founders of the world’s best-known bikes.”

Harley-Davidson's heritage cottage - a piece of the American motorcycle manufacturer's history and legacy. Photo courtesy of Top Speed.
Harley-Davidson’s heritage cottage – a bit of the American bike producer’s historical past and legacy. Photograph courtesy of Prime Velocity.

Sandy and Margaret Davidson settled in Milwaukee the place Sandy discovered work for himself as a carpenter in an area railroad firm.

Their surviving three sons and two daughters additionally adjusted nicely to their new lives, and every prospered in their very own approach. 

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His center son, William C. Davidson (1846-1923) was born in Scotland and grew up in Angus, however he turned a person in America. 

“He’s pivotal to the story of the Davidson Legacy as a result of he had the attributes of technical talent, an analytical thoughts, and a flair for problem-solving,” Nyree says.

“These qualities are sometimes thought-about usually Scottish as a nation of inventors and innovators….extra importantly, they’re key to understanding the spirit of enterprise in America on the dawning of the 20 th century.”

Aberlemno, Scotland, where the Davidson family lives on. Photo curtesy of the Iron Trader.
Aberlemno, Scotland, the place the Davidson household lives on. Photograph curtesy of the Iron Dealer.

William C. Davidson, a Scot and naturalized American, set about constructing the very first Harley-Davidson workshop for his sons and now could be famously identified merely as The Shed. 

“He didn’t understand it then, however he had laid the foundations for an iconic, internationally acknowledged, motorcycle-engineering phenomenon,” Nyree says.

You will discover out extra on the Davidson Legacy web site, together with a video of ‘Our Story’ (which even consists of Jean Davidsons’ go to and lots of extra) by clicking right here.

*Media sourced from Prime Velocity, The Scotsman, Iron Dealer Information and RideApart, amongst others*