The Struggle to Preserve the Davidson Family Homestead

"They may seize our lives, but they'll never seize our freedom... or the Davidson family cottage!"

That rallying cry echoes from a group of Scots fiercely defending the ancestral cottage of the legendary American motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson.

The Davidson Legacy Preservation group, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to safeguarding, maintaining, and promoting access to the Davidson Cottage in Netherton, Angus, Scotland, UK. Chairperson Nyree Aitken expresses their mission to highlight the historical significance of the family home to the biking community.

"The cottage is up for sale as the current owners wish to retire, but all offers received have been from developers aiming to demolish it and erect new houses," Nyree explains. "As a biking community, we refuse to let such a vital piece of history slip away."

The group aims to attain charity status and launch a crowdfunding initiative to raise £500,000 for the purchase of the Davidson cottage. They also intend to employ a project worker to oversee the preservation efforts for future generations.

Last summer, Harley-Davidson executive Bill Davidson and CEO Jochen Zeitz visited the cottage during the filming of a promotional video. Bill reflects on the profound experience of reconnecting with his ancestral home, emphasizing the importance of preserving heritage.

Bill's sentiments serve as a driving force for the group, validating the significance of their campaign. Their determination stems from the realization that they are preserving not just a building, but a legacy deeply intertwined with the roots of the renowned motorcycle brand.

In 2008, enthusiasts Mike Sinclair, Maggie Sherrit, and Keith Mackintosh stumbled upon the dilapidated cottage, which was slated for demolition. Refusing to let it be destroyed, they formed the Davidson Legacy and embarked on a mission to restore it to its former glory.

The restoration process, though challenging, symbolized the resilience and perseverance of the Davidson family. Their journey from Scotland to America, mirrored in the cottage's reconstruction, serves as a poignant reminder of their pioneering spirit.

Sandy and Margaret Davidson's legacy lives on, transcending borders and generations. Their son, William C. Davidson, played a pivotal role in shaping Harley-Davidson's destiny, embodying the Scottish virtues of innovation and ingenuity.

Today, the Davidson cottage stands as a testament to their enduring legacy—a humble abode that birthed a global phenomenon in motorcycle engineering.