A Milwaukee Icon
A Welcome Letter From Bill Davidson
My passion for Harley-Davidson and our museum
is obviously very personal. I often think about my great grandfather, his brothers and their friend Bill Harley's great accomplishments. A key ingredient to their success was their Milwaukee roots – a strong work ethic, friendly neighbors and, above all, a taste for fun — many elements of the city and surrounding area, that even today, continue to impress travelers who visit. Come see for yourself why all of us here at Harley-Davidson are proud to call Milwaukee home and why we think it's important to continue to preserve the history of our great company.
As you plan your trip to Milwaukee, I encourage you to include the Harley-Davidson Museum on your itinerary. As one of the top tourist destinations in the state of Wisconsin, our museum provides a unique glimpse into the history of America and Milwaukee through the stories and journeys depicted by the many permanent and special exhibits. What's even better is the Harley-Davidson Museum has something for every visitor — whether you are a rider or not. Our award-winning facility gives you the opportunity to see first-hand where our company's history and heritage is housed, offering insight and information only found here. Your visit begins in our 1903 gallery, around the time the company was founded and the industrial revolution was happening in Milwaukee and throughout the U.S. This gallery includes the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle in existence, which is affectionately called Serial Number One, as well as other artifacts from some familiar Milwaukee institutions. As you continue your journey through other galleries, you learn about H-D's longstanding support of the military, our role in vehicle customization and the importance of clubs and competition in creating the Harley-Davidson lifestyle.
In 2013, Harley-Davidson celebrated a great milestone — our 110th anniversary. This global, fan-driven celebration provided many epic experiences around the world, including a hometown event in Milwaukee over Labor Day weekend. Thousands of riders joined us from around the world to celebrate a milestone that began in a 10-by-15-foot wooden shed on Highland Avenue, and now 110 years later, has become a global brand representing freedom, boldness and authenticity.
Bill Davidson, Vice President of the Harley-Davidson Museum and Great-Grandson of Harley-Davidson Co-Founder William A. Davidson.