In Angus, located between Forfar and Brechin, you’ll find an unassuming little cottage that just happens to be where Harley Davidson’s worldwide success story began.
Davidson Cottage was the childhood home of William C. Davidson, the father of three brothers who would go on to partner with his friend Bill Harley to create the most famous motorcycle company in the world.
However, a group dedicated to preserving the brand’s heritage fears for the future of the chalet after it went up for sale after the current owners decided to retire.
The Davidson Legacy Preservation Group (DLPG) now fears the site will be demolished by developers to build new homes.
“As a biker community, we don’t want such an important part of history to be lost,” said group president Nyree Aitken.
“Bill Davidson and Harley Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz visited last summer for a promotional video and while at the cabin Bill commented on how ‘impressive’ and ’emotional’ the visit was for him. It helps us stay motivated for our campaign. It’s really worth it.”
The non-profit group, which aims to preserve, conserve and improve the accessibility of Davidson Cottage at Netherton in Angus, says the site is historically significant to the global biker community.
The birthplace of William C. Davidson, the naturalized Scotsman, who began building the very first Harley-Davidson shop for his sons in Milwaukee and is now known as “The Shed”.
Motorcycle enthusiast Nyree said: “He didn’t know it at the time, but he had laid the foundation for an iconic and internationally recognized motorcycle engineering phenomenon.”
She explained that in 2008, three Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, Mike Sinclair, Maggie Sherrit and Keith Mackintosh, discovered the role the cottage had played in the company’s history and were confronted with the reality that it was intended to be demolished to make way for new accommodation. development – decided to buy it.
Creating the Davidson Legacy to save the site as a tribute to the Davidson family, the team spent four years working tirelessly to restore the tiny house to how it would have looked when Sandy and Margaret (William’s parents) left in 1858 to make the trying journey to America.
It has since become a tourist attraction in its own right, attracting Harley Davidson fans from all over the world.
The group now hopes to launch a campaign to raise awareness, additional support and eventually much-needed funding to purchase and secure the future of the chalet.
The group is currently working on obtaining registered charity status before launching the crowdfunding campaigns to meet the goal of raising £500,000.
Nyree added: “This would allow us to purchase the Davidson Cottage and employ a project worker to manage and maintain the Davidson Legacy for future generations to enjoy.”
Those who wish to know more about the campaign can consult their Facebook page here.
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