Murals of York: ‘Harley’s Journey a Good Ride’
(Foreground) Arthur Davidson’s image is superimposed over a street scene depicting an early motorcycle shop on Beaver Street in downtown York.
(Upper left corner) A motorcycle enthusiast participates in the Jefferson Hill Climb, held in southwestern York County.
(Upper center) Two employees work on motorcycle gas tanks in this factory scene from the 1950s.
(Upper right corner) Elvis Presley enjoys a Hog.
News reports sometimes refer to Harley-Davidson as a York County icon, part of the company’s greater brand as one of the last of the mighty American manufacturers.
The company, currently undergoing labor strife, is a vestige of York County’s industrial might.
The H-D tracks are so deep in county soil that the cyclemaker earned a spot in the pantheon of 18 murals colorfully dotting downtown York. In fact, ‘Harley’s Journey a Good Ride’ was one of the first of the large-scale panels… .
An interesting feature about the Harley mural is that when it was painted it faced away from traffic heading east on one-way Market Street.
That was intentional.
Mural supporters wanted drivers — including those mounted on cycles — to stop, walk and stare.
Other stats on the mural:
The artist: C. Michael Svob of British Columbia, Canada
Dimensions: 34 feet wide by 26 feet high.
Year painted: 1996
Address: 258 W. Market St.
Background: William Harley and three Davidson brothers — Walter, William and Arthur — started Harley-Davidson in a 10-foot-by-15-foot Milwaukee garage in 1903.
In an expansion mode, Harley moved final assembly of its large motorcycles from Milwaukee to York County in 1973. An AMF, Inc., plant that formerly made bombs and bowling balls became the birthing room of a bike that has become an icon of York County.
The Murals of York were designed to promote tourism and enhance economic development. For a walking tour and a catalogue of the panels, see http://www.ydr.com/murals.