What to know
During the popular Steel Horse Motorcycle Rally, join the Fort Smith Museum of History for an exhibit and programs exploring local and regional motorcycle history and culture. The exhibit will be featured in the Boyd Gallery during May 2019. Programs are scheduled for Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. during the motorcycle rally.
The exhibition, which was first presented in 2008, features vintage motorcycles, artifacts, and photographs exploring the “art of the motorcycle” in Fort Smith and the region from the 1940s through present day. Fort Smith has a historical association with motorcycle culture. Learn about the people and places that put the region on the map for motorcyclists.
Quin Winters Bike shop on Towson Avenue was the nexus of motorcycle culture in Fort Smith from 1939 until 1975. Quin's sons, Leroy and Robert Winters, gained national fame for their accomplishments in the field of motorcycle racing. The tradition continues with grandson Bart Winters and great-grandchildren Cory West and Erica Winters. Learn more about Fort Smith's first family of motorcycle racing!
In 1940, Fort Smithians Ercie Gann, Kathryn Johnson and Jean Fivekiller became charter members of the “Motor Maids,” a national organization of female motorcyclists. Out of fifty-one original Motor Maids, three were from Fort Smith, Arkansas! The organization is still around today.
The annual “Razorback Run,” a 150-mile round trip ride from Fort Smith to White Rock Mountain near Mulberry, Arkansas drew motorcycle enthusiasts from a regional area from 1952 to 1955.
Otis Spiker played a vital role in the area cycling culture. As one of the few manufacturers of Henderson motorcycle parts, Spiker gained national recognition as well as becoming a local motorcycle legend.
Fort Smith native Danny Hammond raced motorcycles professionally from 1959-1969. After retirement, Hammond raced in the Vintage Dirt Track Racing Association winning the National championships 2004-2007. Danny Hammond presents programs for students during the spring months.
These stories and more come to life with the Motorcycle Memories exhibit and programs.
Also during the Steel Horse Rally, the museum will host a motorcycle show on the street in front of the museum, 9:00 am-12:00 noon. For details and to register for the show call 479-783-7841 or visit Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/motorcycle-show-tickets-59409389082
Registration on the day of the show will begin at 8:00 a.m.
Enjoy brats, burgers, pretzels, and beer in the Fort Smith Museum of History Bier Garten, Saturday, May 4, 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/435588243847052/
The Fort Smith Museum of History was selected to receive proceeds from the Steel Horse Motorcycle Rally. Thank you! In honor of the rally and "all who serve" the museum will feature a new exhibit of Fort Smith Police Department and Fort Smith Fire Department artifacts.
The exhibits and programs are included with museum admission: $7 adults, $2 children, under age 6 are free.
Photograph: Motorcycle gathering on Garrison Avenue, 1940. Quin Winters is on the left. Photo courtesy of Bart Winters.