Antique Motorcycles: A Rider's Heritage

Preserving the history of motorcycling in the Pacific Northwest

Among those welcoming the antique motorcycles on the Cannonball Endurance Run when it arrived in Tacoma this September from Dayton Beach, Florida, were Thomas Samuelsen and Jack Mackey of the Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Museum.

The Museum uses digital media, physical displays and events to educate the public about the past and the present of motorcycling in the Pacific Northwest. It also hopes to preserve that history.

Though the Museum doesn’t have a physical location, you can take a great tour of the past on its website. For instance, you can learn the somewhat harrowing myth about the origin of the trophy for the Death Head Derby—and the more prosaic truth. You can learn about the 1911 Endurance Run from Seattle to Vancouver and back and about the hard-fought races at a three-day meet in Portland in 1919.

What do you know about the history of snow runs? You know about Snow Camp on President’s Day weekend and about the Snowline ride, but do you know how the whole idea got it’s start? Check the Education tab on the Museum’s website and find out. The Museum even has “home movies” of early snow rides, which it will put online.

The website has some fascinating information about the history of Seattle’s motorcycle police, too. And they are looking for more. Do you have any relatives or ancestors who were in the force? Any memorabilia or photos? The Museum can preserve it in its collection, or copy and return it.

The Museum has panel displays about these historic happenings, which it brings to various events. Their website has a schedule of events at which it will display its exhibits.

For now, the Museum doesn’t have a permanent building. You can learn how to help with that, how to donate items, and how to help preserve our history on the Museum website. A Museum without a physical location is always in search of safe, dry storage space. Maybe you can help. Contact information is on the website:

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