Davidsons enjoy pit stop at ancestral home

Jean Davidson and Jon Oeflein are pictured with their book at Netherton Cottage.
Jean Davidson and Jon Oeflein are pictured with their book at Netherton Cottage.

The family of one of the founders of iconic motorcycle manuacturers Harley-Davidson went back to their roots recently during a visit to Angus.

Jean Davdison, with her son Jon Oeflein, travelled from Milwaukee to see Netherton Cottage at Aberlemno where her great-great grandparents lived before they emigrated to America.

Alexander and Margaret Davidson, along with their six children, lived in the cottage until 1857 when they moved to Wisconsin in search of better opportunities.

Three of their grandchildren, Arthur, Walter and William, co-founded the Harley-Davidson company in 1903 with Englishman Bill Harley. In addition to founding the company, Jean’s grandfather Walter was also its first president.

Restoration of the cottage was completed two years ago by The Davidson Legacy, formed by its owners Maggie Sherrit, Mike Sinclair and Keith Mackintosh, who had acquired the property in 2008 with funding from themselves, the Scottish Rural Development Programme and the Angus and Dundee Tourism Partnership.

Jean is an internationally known author and speaker and she and Jon recently published their latest family history book, ‘Harley-Davidson Family Memories’, a comprehensive collection of rare photos and stories of the Harley-Davidson founders and their families right through to the current generation.

She began riding Harley-Davidsons at the age of 12 and one time was the owner of the largest Harley Davidson dealership in Wisconsin.